Li te ra ry Thema tic Te rms
Second Edition E D WA R D Q U I NN

A Dictionary of Literary and Thematic Terms, Second Edition Copyright © 2006 by Edward Quinn All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher. For information contact: Facts On File, Inc. An imprint of Infobase Publishing 132 West 31st Street New York NY 10001 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Quinn, Edward, 1932– A dictionary of literary and thematic terms / Edward Quinn—2nd ed. p. cm. Includes index. ISBN 0-8160-6243-9 (hc : alk. paper) 1. Criticism—Terminology. 2. Literature— Terminology. 3. Literature, Comparative—Themes, motives, etc.—Terminology. 4. English language—Terms and phrases. 5. Literary form—Terminology. I. Title. PN44.5.Q56 2006 803—dc22 2005029826 Facts On File books are available at special discounts when purchased in bulk quantities for businesses, associations, institutions or sales promotions. Please call our Special Sales Department in New York at (212) 967-8800 or (800) 322-8755. You can find Facts On File on the World Wide Web at http://www.factsonfile.com Text design by Sandra Watanabe Cover design by Cathy Rincon Printed in the United States of America MP FOF 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 This book is printed on acid-free paper.

Co n te n ts

Literary and Thematic Terms


Pr e fa c e
This book offers the student or general reader a guide through the thicket of literary terms. Unlike traditional books of this type, however, it takes an expanded view of the term literary. One cause of this expansion is the new way of talking about and teaching literature that has emerged since the late 1960s under the general heading of “theory.” Theory often deals with subjects that seem at best only peripherally related to what we think of as literature, but some of its insights have provided us with new tools to understand the processes of reading, writing, interpreting, and (alas, to a relatively insignificant extent) enjoying literature. This book provides discussions of the major terms begotten by theory, always with the goal of relating them to literary study. Another form of expansion is reflected in the title word thematic. This is the first book of literary terms to include within it discussions of major literary themes, such as death, love, and time, and also of themes that have a particular significance for our age, such as AIDS, alienation, and anti-Semitism. Still another expansion of “literature” is its extension to include film, television, and other forms of popular culture, thus the appearance of terms such as macguffin, sitcom, and rap. These updatings and innovations, however, should not obscure the fact that most of the entries in this book have been in existence for centuries, some of them— those relating to Aristotle—as old as 2,500 years. Like other living things, the literary tradition continues to evolve and expand, enriching the lives of all those lucky enough to come to know it. To that end, this book offers itself as a modest guide. The subtitle of this new edition might well be labeled, “From Academic Discourse to Zines” since these are the first and last new entries in the book. However, while these two appropriately suggest the ever expanding range of what constitutes “literary” terms, they also indicate the somewhat shifting, deceptive nature of these terms. At first glance, academic discourse appears to be a rusty relic of an ivory-towered past, while zines seems to embody the essence of a computergenerated future. But as the entries themselves indicate, academic discourse has recently become a hotly “contested site,” while the zines phenomenon is more than


75 years old. This is a sobering reminder, as another new entry, liberal/conservative imagination, demonstrates in the political sphere, that the old trickster time never tires of keeping us off balance. Time also offers a convenient device to categorize the thematic entries new to this edition, which include traditional, rooted-in-thepast entries such as individualism, skepticism, Odysseus/Ulysses; timely presentoriented themes such as nuclear war, terrorism and prison literature, and those subjects that slip through the chronological cracks, like alcohol, baseball, and vampirism. Among new entries that bespeak the future are those dedicated to the various ethnic American literatures, many of which are just beginning to find their voices, but which, we can safely assume, will grow in importance and recognition as our country continues the great experiment of seeking renewal through immigration. My thanks to Gail Quinn for typing this manuscript under combat conditions and Deirdre Quinn for pitching in at a critical point. Thanks again to Karl Malkoff, this time for offering his slow-witted friend a crash course in Computers 101. Continued thanks to Jeff Soloway of Facts On File for his patience, encouragement, and sound advice. Thanks also to Liam and Adam Kirby, Caitlin, Kieran and Declan, Maya, and Shannon Quinn for being the grandest of grandchildren. Finally, a special debt to Barbara Gleason, whose patience, tact, and support kept the ship afloat even after it had sprung a few leaks.





Abbey Theatre The Dublin home of the Irish National Theatre Company,

where some of the most celebrated plays of the 20th century first appeared. On its opening night, December 26, 1904, the Abbey presented four short plays: William Butler Yeats’s Cathleen Ni Houlihan and On Baile’s Strand, Lady Augusta Gregory’s Spreading the News, and John Millington Synge’s In the Shadow of the Glen. This premiere set a standard that the company was to maintain for the next two decades. The company presented Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World (greeted by rioters protesting the play as “a libel of the Irish character”) in 1907 and his powerful tragedy Deirdre of the Sorrows in 1910. The twenties saw the presentation of Sean O’Casey’s great tragicomic achievements: The Shadow of a Gunman (1923), Juno and the Paycock (1924), and The Plough and the Stars (1926), the latter causing another riot at the theater. Although never matching the great achievements of its early years, the Abbey, which burned down in 1951 and reopened in 1966, continues to produce plays and players of unusually high quality, maintaining its status as one of the premier theaters in Europe.
Hugh Hunt’s The Abbey: Ireland’s National Theatre, 1904–1978 (1979) offers a historical overview of the Abbey’s productions, politics and personalities. Adrian Frazier’s Behind the Scenes (1990) is a witty and provocative reading of the Abbey’s early years viewed from the perspective of NEW HISTORICISM. Absolute, the

In philosophy, the principle of fundamental reality that underlines and sustains the various forms it assumes in the world. Although the idea of an unconditioned Absolute is as old as Plato, the term is associated with 19thcentury German idealist philosophy, most notably in the work of G. W. F. Hegel. Hegel maintained “the Absolute is spirit; this is the highest definition of the absolute.” For Hegel, the role of great art—for example, Greek tragedy—was to provide the average person with an approach to the Absolute that was more accessible than philosophy.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge adopted this principle in developing his theory of literature, a theory in which NATURE appears as the Absolute. Coleridge’s conception assumed a dominant place in 19th-century literary theory. Among reactions in the early years of the 20th century to Coleridge’s ROMANTICISM, the movement known as the NEW HUMANISM, led by the scholars Irving Babbitt and Paul Elmer More, called for a rejection of transcendental, idealist terms, of which the Coleridgean Absolute was a major example. Jacques Derrida, the principal exponent of DECONSTRUCTION, criticized Western thought for operating on the basis of LOGOCENTRISM, the belief that there exists an Absolute, a “logos” that transcends the limitations of language. The scholar Robert Calasso used the term absolute literature to describe writings that reveal a search for an absolute. (See also GODS.)
Paul Elmer More’s The Demon of the Absolute (1928) constitutes a strong indictment of the Absolute; Robert Harland’s Superstructuralism (1987) provides a thoughtful analysis of Derrida’s argument. Robert Calasso’s study is Literature and the Gods (2001). abstract expressionism See ACTION PAINTING. absurd Ridiculous or unreasonable, a definition that has been extended to characterize human life. In the 20th-century philosophy of EXISTENTIALISM, the French writer Albert Camus employed the term to describe the futility of human existence, which he compared to the story of Sisyphus, the figure in Greek mythology condemned for eternity to push a stone to the top of a mountain only to have it roll back down again. In the wake of two world wars, the principle of absurdity found fertile soil in the imaginations of modern writers. An early example is the fiction of Franz Kafka, peopled with guilt-ridden, alienated, grotesquely comic characters. In the 1950s a group of playwrights created a new form of drama, which the critic Martin Esslin named “the theatre of the absurd,” to describe plays that abandoned traditional construction and conventional dialogue. These plays were notable for their illogical structure and the irrational behavior of their characters. Chief among the absurdist playwrights was Samuel Beckett, whose Waiting for Godot (1953) and Endgame (1957) had a revolutionary impact on modern drama. In Waiting for Godot, two tramps wait for Godot, who sends a message every day that he will meet them tomorrow. They pass the time engaging in comic stage business, trying to remember where they are and how they got there—as one character puts it, “Anything to give us the illusion we exist.” The second act repeats the first with slight variations; Godot never arrives, and the two tramps continue to wait.


Other “absurdists” include Eugene Ionesco (Rhinoceros, 1960) and Arthur Adamov (Ping Pong, 1955) in France, Harold Pinter (The Caretaker, 1959) in England, and Edward Albee (The American Dream, 1961) in the United States. In FICTION, two of the best known novels of the 1950s and ’60s, Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 (1961) and Gunther Grass’s The Tin Drum (1959), captured the absurdist theme and style.
Albert Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus (1955) is an extended treatment of the absurd applied to human existence. Martin Esslin’s The Theatre of the Absurd (1961) is a landmark study of its subject; its third edition (1980) includes the author’s reservations about the popularization of the term. academic discourse A general term for the written language used by college and university faculty members. Some academics hold that the term should be plural, reflecting the range and variety of linguistic conventions that separate, for example, writing in psychology from that in art history. But despite wide differences in vocabulary and style, there are some agreed-upon features common to most academic prose, notably professional terminology (see JARGON) and rather strict criteria in determining the proof of an argument. In other words, academic discourse traditionally tends to subordinate rhetoric to logic, maintaining the appeal to reason as the highest standard of discursive language use. Occasionally that standard is questioned or challenged by the scholars themselves. One example concerns the Shakespearean scholar Stephen Greenblatt, an exemplary practitioner of academic discourse in the books and articles he has written in connection with NEW HISTORICISM. In 2004, Greenblatt published a popular biography of Shakespeare (Will in the World), in which he speculates about his subject, not only rather loosely by academic standards, but substantially contradicting the thrust of his earlier works on Shakespeare’s plays, producing a generally negative reaction among his academic peers. On the other hand, nonacademic reviewers and general readers have responded very positively to the biography, applauding the author for having “liberated Shakespeare from the professors and returning him to the people.” The controversy illustrates the differences generated by different discourses, and the perils of attempting a crossover from one to the other. In COMPOSITION STUDIES, academic discourse serves as a reminder of the gap between the expectations of the traditional college teacher and the student. The latter, particularly in a BASIC WRITING course, frequently feels overwhelmed by the attempt to mimic or imitate academic discourse in a writing assignment. The effort to sound “academic” usually results in a greater failure than had the student used his/her own “voice.” One consequence has been a growing pedagogical interest in the WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM movement in an attempt to

a gold-plated statuette of a sword-bearing knight standing on rolls of film. Académie française Powerful French academy founded in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu. costume. The awards ceremony. cinematography. The symbol of the award is an “Oscar” (the origin of the name is disputed). design. chief minister during King Louis XIII’s reign. and makeup. two writing awards (Best Original Screenplay. The awards cover 23 categories of filmmaking. overseeing and attempting to control developments in the language. The name is alluded to in a line from the Roman poet Ovid. academic fiction See CAMPUS NOVEL. a measure of its linguistic conservatism. The group also bestows various awards and prizes for distinguished literary achievements. including Best Picture. Marjorie Garber looks at the pros and cons of academic discourse in her Academic Instincts (2001). four acting awards (Best Leading Actor and Actress. editing.ACADEMIC FICTION introduce beginning writers to the forms and conventions of the major academic disciplines. two short films awards (Best Animated Film. Academy or academe are general terms for the university or the academic community. Best Adaptation). The Académie consists of 40 members.” which serves as the ironic epigraph to Mary McCarthy’s satiric CAMPUS NOVEL The Groves of Academe (1952). sound. Best Supporting Actor and Actress). Best Foreign Language Film. and awards for art direction. all prominent intellectuals and formerly all-male until 1980. two music awards (Best Song. Best Director. and still a force in contemporary French culture. Best Original Score). Best Short Subject). Best Live). Its most recent efforts. The Académie continues to exercise its authority. sound effects. usually occurring in March of the year following the films’ original showing. when the novelist Marguerite Yourcenar was elected its first female member. Academy An olive grove near Athens where Plato and his followers established a school (called the Academy) for the study of philosophy. have been directed against the employment of loan words from other languages. Academy Awards Annual awards given by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “And pursue truth in the groves of academe. two documentaries (Best Feature. visual effects. Though almost always seen in retrospect as disappointing and overly long. the ceremony 4 . is the world’s most widely viewed television event.

Many plays have adapted the EPIC THEATER structure of Bertolt Brecht. although the majority of contemporary plays are written in two acts. Modern drama allows for considerable variation in the number of acts within a play. And torture one poor word ten thousand ways. In poetry written in English. action The sequence of events in a novel or play. The ELIZABETHAN five-act structure derives from the Roman playwright Seneca. if the order of stress is an unaccented syllable followed by an accented one. A line containing five such feet is in iambic pentameter. There thou mayest wings display and altars raise.ACTION never fails to attract a large audience. for the act structure. For example. lured by its potpourri of glamour. Ben-Hur (1959) and Titanic (2001). and suspense. accent A regular recurring stress in a line of verse.” Critics cite as evidence the fact that the two winners of the largest number of awards— 11 each—were for two epical films. Emanuel Levy’s Oscar Fever (2001) offers a serious. What he seems to emphasize is not simply what the characters do but also what underlies their specific acts. and choose for thy command Some peaceful province in Acrostic land. the two syllables constitute an iambic FOOT. acrostic A poem in which the first letter in each line spells out a word. or self-contained incidents. in which he advises his hapless adversary to: Leave writing plays. The form’s low repute as a literary device is reflected in John Dryden’s satiric poem “MacFlecknoe” (1682). Despite their popularity. act The major division of a DRAMA. the awards have been frequently criticized for the voters’ tendency to select personal favorites and blockbuster films rather than making quality judgments. the order and number of accented syllables determine the METER of a line or an entire poem. intelligent history of the awards. Aristotle’s definition of tragedy as “an imitation of an action” underscores his contention that action rather than character is the central element in a tragic play. which substitutes a series of episodes. The tragic 5 . The blockbuster preference is presumably related to the belief that the success of such films is always “good for the industry. A well-known example is the notoriously sentimental MOTHER acrostic. humor. as in this line from Alexander Pope: ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ The proper study of mankind is man.

Jerome Klinkowitz has studied the impact of action painting on subsequent artistic. actor-manager The designation for a leading actor who is also the manager of a theater or repertory troupe. Among fictional actor-managers. Harold Rosenberg’s essays are collected in his Act and the Actor (1970). In the French theater the tradition was established by Molière. for example. described the appeal of the new art movement: “Poetry was declining/Painting advancing/We were complaining/it was ’50. The movement of the line within the painting involves its viewers. Kenneth Burke analyzes the tragic rhythm of action in his A Grammar of Motives (1945). It is “abstract” in that it represents not a picture of the world but something that comes into existence in the act of making it.The idea of speech as a form of action is a major principle of SPEECH ACT THEORY. The principle of action painting was incorporated into the work of the NEW YORK SCHOOL of poetry. undergoes a trial by suffering (passion). and critical movements in Rosenberg/Barthes/Hassan (1988). sense of his own identity (perception). Edwin Booth in the 19th. in America. Henry Irving and. The goal of action painting was to capture the act of creating the painting: the painting itself was to be seen simply as the representation of the act of producing it. Among the most celebrated actor-managers were David Garrick in the 18th century. was also its chief playwright. action painting A term coined by the critic Harold Rosenberg to describe a central principle of the Abstract Expressionist art movement that developed in the 1940s and ’50s. The emphasis in action painting is not on the eye but on the hand. in Charles Dickens’s Nicholas Nickleby (1839) is memorable. Such painting is “expressionist” in that it is an expression of the artist in action. the genial Mr. Jackson Pollock’s technique of dripping paint as he walked over his canvas is a prime example of action painting. 6 . inviting them to become part of the process of creation. appears to be a threefold movement. a museum curator and friend of many abstract expressionist painters. Frank O’Hara. characterized by the critic Kenneth Burke as the “purpose. the tradition of the actor who also served as director and producer was dominant from the end of the 17th century to the beginning of the 20th.” The influence of action painting on the New York School is evident in O’Hara’s attempt to present directly the poet in the process of composing. passion and perception” of the tragic protagonist: the tragic hero begins with a specific purpose. Crummles. In the English and American theater. and emerges with a fuller. although tragic. who in addition to acting and managing his troupe.ACTION PAINTING action. One member of the school. literary.

” underscores the ubiquity of the sin along with the need for compassion. the adulterous relation of Paris and Helen is the catastrophic cause of the Trojan War. often emphasize the destructive nature of adulterous passion. In Homer’s Iliad. The Dresser (1981). for example. Machiavelli’s Mandragola (1518) is a representative example. an outlet for the oppressive features of marriage. adultery was a particularly fertile theme for the 19th-century novel. most memorably. In novels such as Flaubert’s Madame Bovary (1856–57). adage See PROVERB. and the NOVEL. particularly FARCE. In this context adultery may have served a dual and contradictory role: both as threat to society and as safety valve. which skillfully depicts the relationship of the actor-manager and his dresser as paralleling that of King Lear and his Fool. Medieval romances. providing the opportunity to explore the instability of marriage at the historical moment when marriage was beginning to be seen in conflict with the desire for individual freedom. Undoubtedly this development was also intensely connected to the changing definitions of the nature and roles of women. a recurrent feature of TRAGEDY. such as those surrounding the ARTHURIAN LEGEND or the story of Tristan and Iseult. COMEDY. According to the critic Tony Tanner. while the New Testament account of the woman taken in adultery. Tolstoy’s Anna 7 . a theme that forms the basis not only of such farces as The Merry Wives of Windsor and romances like The Winter’s Tale but also. Many of Shakespeare’s plays are adaptations of prose narratives. the emphasis frequently falls on cuckoldry. operas. Adaptation is one form of the practice contemporary theorists refer to as INTERTEXTUALITY. focusing on imagined cuckoldry. and ballets. with Jesus’ injunction that punishment of the woman belongs only to “he who is without sin. the tragic action of Othello. when a novel is made into a film. and later film. The literature of adultery reflects this ambivalence from the beginning.ADULTERY A moving homage to the actor-manager tradition is captured in the play. films. usually with the suggestion of adultery as a form of justified revenge. In medieval and Renaissance comedy. ROMANCE. Marriage and the family have constituted the linchpin of the social order. guaranteeing society’s survival and continuity. adaptation The employment of material in one medium or genre for use in another as. Shakespeare offers a distinctive variation on the tradition. adultery One of the major themes in the history of literature. poems. and those plays have become in turn the SOURCE of countless novels. Actors’ Studio See METHOD ACTING.

physical danger. advertising Although the history of advertising dates back to classical times. and an intrepid hero/heroine. the centrality of the woman and the complexity of her role anticipate this shift in mood. The prototype of the form is Homer’s Odyssey. Nathaniel Hawthorne.ADVENTURE STORY Karenina (1875–77) and Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter (1850). 1986. where literary work asks you merely to accept the temporary illusion that its characters are real and its events really happening. Updike’s approach is distinguished by his representation of adultery as a spiritual transgression instead of a social threat. Jennifer Wickes looks at the relationship of advertising and literature through the lenses of three writers. The influence of the “myth of adultery” is traced in Denis de Rougemont’s Love in the WesternWorld (1940). in fact. forms the basis of three novels by Updike (A Month of Sundays. they also achieve an authentic sense of self from the adulterous experience and the suffering that follows it. In Advertising Fictions (1988). the advertisement asks you to carry its illusion into the real world by buying its product or electing its candidate. Henry James. John Updike is noted for his concentration on the theme. Roger Chillingworth. Henry James. The Scarlet Letter. whose novels. excitement. Among 20th-century novelists. and James Joyce. the form is a key element of the SERIAL. place. and John Updike. she suggests. it did not emerge as a powerful force in society until the industrial age in the 19th century. adventure story A type of fiction that usually includes suspense. travel to exotic settings. However. 1988) in which the perspectives of the three main characters of the Hawthorne novel (Arthur Dimmesdale. In focusing on this spiritual or religious dimension. and Hester Prynne) are recreated in contemporary terms. the adventure story is kin to the ROMANCE. and S. or object. The adventure story is one of the staples of CHILDREN’S LITERATURE. In film. in which the hero faces a series of threatening situations as he attempts to voyage home. Charles Dickens. represent three stages 8 . Literature and advertising share a common purpose. 1975. Although the heroines of all three of these novels commit adultery and are punished as social outcasts. but the adventure story relies on a series of exciting episodes unified by the theme of a search for a lost person. In many of these respects. he follows his progenitor. Tony Tanner’s Adultery in the Novel (1979) examines the theme in key 19th-century European novels. Roger’s Version. Donald Greiner’s Adultery in the American Novel (1985) looks at the uses of the theme in the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne. to have its audiences engage in the WILLING SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF. such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island (1883).

” A specific example of that threat is the figure in James’s The Ambassadors (1903) of Chad Newsome. Slum.” Wickes’s point is a striking one. as his INTERIOR MONOLOGUE reveals. Bloom is an advertising canvasser. Thus. To illustrate the second phase when advertising emerges as a formidable threat to literature. he is a walking repository. which deals with relics of a dead past.” The third stage of interaction.AESTHETICISM in the interaction of advertising and literature: advertising’s borrowing from literature. As a result. is itself a relic. moves from the shop to become a model. for example. The author’s attitude toward advertising is evident in the name he gives the advertising copywriter. She begins with a seminal example. the novel’s heroine. the novel “performs a tango with advertising and is set to its music. Wickes sees Henry James as an author sensitive to the impending “usurpation and displacement of literature that loomed on the horizon. of a master.” When Charles Dickens was forced to work as a child. of which. at an early age he became conscious of advertising’s power. used to advertise Mrs. naturally. and infinite like all the arts. As a young man. the notion that the language of advertising dominates the rich linguistic tapestry that is Ulysses would seem to be overstating the case. which he describes as “an art. pasting those labels on bottles. . But Dickens’s own reliance on advertising is evident in his use of it in his financially successful reading tours in which the texts of his novels become the advertisements for his readings. soliciting ads for local newspapers. according to Wickes. He is being called back to America to assume a critical role in the family business by becoming the head of the advertising department. symbolized by the fact that it has no sign advertising itself. . In the process. Leopold Bloom. Wickes maintains. the central figure of James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922). Closer to the truth is her general proposition: Advertising’s rise to power has been accompanied by a comparable decline in the influence of literature. its emergence as a perceived threat. Dickens later wrote advertising copy for Warren’s. Chad readily abandons his lover for the lure of advertising. Now literature borrows the language of advertising in the vocabulary and thought of one of the 20th century’s most celebrated characters. the shop. In The Old Curiosity Shop (1841). he has absorbed the language and slogans of advertising. a 19th-century movement that maintained art need serve no moral or ethical purpose (see ART FOR ART’S 9 . . and its ultimate triumph. finds a reversal of the earlier relationship. made by the Warren factory in London. Little Nell. as “one of the first examples of an individually packaged product with a textual accompaniment. he was employed at Warren’s. . whose idyll in Europe must end. assigning it a significant role in his novels and employing it in their sales campaigns. but for many readers. Jarley’s waxworks museum. in the hands. aestheticism In French and English literature. a jingle written on a bottle of shoe polish .

AESTHETICS SAKE). for example. less extreme form of aestheticism.” the language of the poem or story. In the preface to his novel Mademoiselle de Maupin (1838). the French poet and novelist Thèophile Gautier proclaimed the only purpose of art was to be beautiful. NEW CRITICISM emphasized the need for a certain detachment in order to understand without being swept away by the tide of emotion. The term aesthetic distance refers either to the artist’s or the audience’s relation to the art object. The French SYMBOLIST poets attempted to translate that principle into practice. who at the end of his life lamented in De Profundis (1905). aesthetics A branch of philosophy that explores the theory of the beautiful and the nature of art.” The bestknown advocate of aestheticism was Oscar Wilde.” FORMALISM represents a modified. Among these questions are those relating to art as imitation. 10 . true meaning resided in “the text itself.” A corollary fallacy. R. A similar principle is implicit in Bertolt Brecht’s ALIENATION EFFECT and in the concept of DEFAMILIARIZATION. A satirical novelist such as Evelyn Waugh. of analyzing a work of literature in terms of its impact upon a reader. appears to be more removed from his characters and their fate than a romantic novelist such as Sir Walter Scott. but the questions it deals with date back at least to Plato and Aristotle. to the function of the artist in society. it did not begin until the mid-18th century. In England the major texts of the aesthetic movement were Swinburne’s Poems and Ballads (1866) and Walter Pater’s Studies in the History of the Renaissance (1873). V. lies in any attempt to see the meaning of a work as residing in the intention of the AUTHOR. “I treated art as the supreme reality and life as a mere mode of fiction. any attempt to locate the meaning of a work within the mind of the reader “ends in impressionism and relativism. affective fallacy A term in NEW CRITICISM used to describe the error. the so-called INTENTIONAL FALLACY. the love of art for its own sake. For the New Critics. Johnson’s Aestheticism (1969) is an accessible treatment of the movement. according to the same authors.” For Wimsatt and Beardsley. As a separate field of study. which concludes with the famous invitation to “burn with a hard gemlike flame” in the “desire for beauty. from a New Critical perspective. or MIMESIS. The critics William Wimsatt and Monroe Beardsley coined the term to call attention to the distinction between the text of a work and “its results in the mind of its audience. and to the impact of art on its audience.

In the years following the Civil War. 1923).AFRICAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE One of the principal developments of a more recent critical school. Claude McKay (Home to Harlem. 1929). and the novelists Jean Toomer (Cane. In the early years of the 19th century a number of slaves. AfricanAmerican literature was dominated by three novelists: Richard Wright. 1926). or. Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig. writers. published poetry. Arna Bontemps (God Sends Sunday. 1937).” “The Affective Fallacy” is included in Wimsatt’s The Verbal Icon (1954). aided and encouraged by abolitionists. Notable among these were Jupiter Hammon and Phillis Wheatley. and folktales of slaves working in the fields. the term for the period of outstanding literary activity centered in the Harlem section of New York City. These SLAVE NARRATIVES played a significant role in the anti-slavery movement that preceded the Civil War. Wright’s Native Son (1940). The poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar and the prose of Charles Chesnutt touch upon these themes. 1928). the rich tradition of oral and written African-American literature had its beginnings in the songs. In the period preceding the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Ralph Ellison. in the words of Jane Tompkins. Washington’s Up from Slavery (1901) and James Weldon Johnson’s novel The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912). Among the most memorable are the poets Langston Hughes (The Weary Blues. given the opportunity to read and write (an opportunity denied by law in many Southern states). African-American literature began to reflect the frustrations and fears of a people who in large part continued to suffer from widespread discrimination and segregation. and Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God. and Baldwin’s Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953) matched passion 11 . READER RESPONSE CRITICISM. Ellison’s The Invisible Man (1952). and James Baldwin. “defines itself in direct opposition to the New Critical dictum issued by Wimsatt and Beardsley. By the late 18th century. and Countee Cullen (The Black Christ. Another distinguishing feature of these writers was their incorporation of the rhythms and themes of blues and JAZZ. African-American literature Long overlooked. published autobiographical accounts of their experiences as slaves. the vast migration from the rural South to the urban North in the years leading up to and following World War I resulted in the HARLEM RENAISSANCE. Sketches from the Life of a Free Black was the first novel by an AfricanAmerican writer to be published in the United States. Harlem served as a magnet for talented young black artists. 1931). Jane Tompkins’s critique is featured in her critical anthology Reader Response Criticism (1980). In 1859. as do autobiographical works such as Booker T. a few slaves and former slaves. In the 1920s. both slaves whose poems reflect a strong religious tone. spirituals. During this period. and musicians.

Andrews et al. Ishmael Reed (Mumbo Jumbo. In the hands of writers such as Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. 1987). William Cowper. The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. 1972). 1700–1789 (1986) provides an invaluable introduction to the ideas and attitudes of the era. the sense of the poet as a visionary. Age of Johnson In English literary history. In the wake of the Civil Rights movement a new generation of writers emerged. 1777) and Oliver Goldsmith (She Stoops to Conquer. in the case of Blake. and lexicographer Dr. Traditionally regarded as a merely transitional phase in the movement from NEOCLASSICISM to ROMANTICISM. editor. to emphasize that the poetry of Robert Burns. George Campbell’s The Philosophy of Rhetoric (1776) and Hugh Blair’s Lectures on Rhetoric (1783). The poetry of the period also represents the movement toward nature and the power of the human mind when in contact with nature. In drama the comedy of manners (see COMEDY) flourished in the hands of Richard Brinsley Sheridan (The School for Scandal. and The Oxford Companion to African American Literature. provide comprehensive introductions to the African-American literary tradition. 1773). critic. one of the great comic novels in English. James Sambrook’s The Eighteenth Century: The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature. Samuel Johnson. 1987). Northrop Frye’s appeal for an “age of sensibility” is contained in his Fables of Identity (1963). The great nonfiction prose works of the era were Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–87) and Boswell’s Life of Johnson (1791). establishing in unequivocal fashion the centrality of the African-American experience in the consciousness of all Americans. African-American literature has moved out of the ghetto onto the national stage. Thomas Gray.AGE OF JOHNSON with eloquence and literary skill in their depictions of the African-American experience. Alice Walker (The Color Purple. The critic Northrop Frye has argued that a more accurate title for the period would be the Age of Sensibility. The development of the NOVEL. 12 . and William Blake offered a form of literature rooted in feeling and.. 1969). McKay (both 1997). edited by William L. a period dominated by the poet. the second half of the 18th cen- tury. and the Nobel laureate Toni Morrison (Beloved. begun earlier in the century. The age also saw the production of two works that have been extremely influential in the development of modern RHETORIC. edited by Henry Louis Gates and Nellie Y. was enriched by Tobias Smollett’s Humphrey Clinker (1771) and Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy (1760–67). the age now commands more respect for a unique literary character of its own. the playwright August Wilson (Fences. 1982).

” who achieves insight in madness. as deterioration and dependence. as a young man celebrated for his beauty. naked wretch. but always in the recognition that there is a divinity that shapes our ends. angry words—invoking the gods in his denunciation of her candor. who refuses to play a hypocritical game. the lover of Aphrodite. a rat have life and thou no life at all?” He dies having learned what it means to be human. But his suffering and the wisdom derived from it are finally eclipsed by the unanswerable question he poses to the dead body of Cordelia. Lear is every inch the king. Anchises. he begins to lose his identity. And that is embodied with unparalleled power in Shakespeare’s portrait of King Lear. describing what it is like for a particular person at a particular point in time. the aged Greek general. all acquired in the experience of his long life. is renowned for his eloquence. a dog. taken as a whole. it is filled with contradictions and paradoxes. “Who is it who can tell me who I am?” That is a question he must answer for himself as he undergoes the painful lessons of one who “has ever but slenderly known himself.” In the process he becomes a “poor. The dichotomy is well represented by two figures in Homer’s The Iliad: Nestor. in Dylan Thomas’s words. and sense of justice. 1952). the Trojan hero Aeneas. an imperious old man habituated to a lifetime of power. including death. he unleashes his pent-up fury in rash. Between the heroic (Nestor) and the pathetic (Anchises) views of age stands the tragic. When he discovers the true nature of his other daughters. “Why should a horse. blind. In contrast.AGING aging The literature of aging and old age differs from nonliterary accounts of the process in its emphasis on individual experience. and on the other. wisdom. having to be carried from the burning walls of Troy by his son. Cordelia. 13 . which see age. the aches and pains of age. having paid an awful price in the process. At the polar opposite of the view of age in King Lear is Robert Browning’s depiction in Rabbi Ben Ezra: Grow old along with me The best is yet to be The Rabbi urges us to use the limitations. tr. now is weak. to “not go gently into that good night. whose passionate commitment to life leaves him open to all experience. as spurs to participate in life. In the 20th century the religious coda is less in evidence as we are enjoined to experience life fiercely. As a result. as the culmination of a rich and rewarding life.” A memorable representative of this conviction is Zorba in Nikos Kasantzakis’s Zorba the Greek (1946. Thwarted by his youngest daughter. on the one hand. now demanding protestations of love from his three daughters. As the play opens.

In the 1920s and ’30s. a passionate prolabor union drama focusing on a taxi drivers’ strike. in the reenactment of an Oedipal struggle. suggests the continuing value of religious belief in imbuing the life of an aged person with a sense of the beauty of existence. films. particularly in the criticism of Harold Bloom. however. As the disease achieves the dimension of a worldwide epidemic. a small but increasing proportion of AIDS literature is being written by nongays. The agon was a feature of both comedy and tragedy. in which two characters. a Protestant minister of a small congregation in Iowa. AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) has resulted in the production of a large body of literature. Using songs. 14 . In classical drama. engage in heated debate. Most of this work has formed the central theme of contemporary GAY LITERATURE. forms of agitprop spread throughout Europe and the United States. and plays. agitprop The use of literature to promote a political or ideological goal. while the depiction of the protagonist of Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead (2004). it denotes the portion of the play. AIDS In the relatively brief period since its outbreak in the early 1980s. Barbara Frey Waxman’s From the Hearth to the Open Road (1990) is an interesting feminist study of aging in contemporary literature. The term—a fusion of agitation and propaganda—derives from the early years of the Soviet regime in Russia. both in tragedy and comedy. agon A Greek word for struggle or conflict. now in his seventies.AGITPROP A less romantic view of age—one closer to contemporary experience—is meticulously portrayed in the last two volumes of John Updike’s Rabbit tetralogy. A celebrated American example of the form is Clifford Odets’s Waiting for Lefty (1935). agitprop agents brought the party line to towns and villages throughout the Soviet Union. Harold Bloom’s Agon: Towards a Theory of Revisionism (1982) is a collection of essays employing his theory. The term is generally used in contemporary criticism as a synonym for a competitive struggle. who depicts literary history in terms of the conflict between a “strong” poet and a significant predecessor whom the strong poet feels he must. The Soviets instituted a policy of agitation and propaganda to encourage popular participation in the goals of the Communist government. each one supported by members of the CHORUS. Rabbit is Back (1981) and Rabbit at Rest (1990). displace.

the account of an eleven-year-old girl’s contracting AIDS from a blood transfusion. published in book form in 1984. In drama. While more recent literature has retained this angry tone.The alazon is a stock figure in COMEDY. Monette’s memoirs Borrowed Time (1988) and Becoming a Man (1992). and remembrance. striving to overcome the hostility. originally serialized in the San Francisco Chronicle. Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (1989). The outstanding chronicler of the disease in fiction is Paul Monette. and later dramatized on public television. Confronting AIDS Through Literature. 15 . who died of AIDS in 1995. In the latter film 53 AIDS-infected people were employed in bit parts. and combative. a two-part drama that touches on a broad range of themes with AIDS playing a central role. compassion. Outstanding among nonfiction accounts of the disease is Randy Shilts’s And the Band Played On (1987). Among the early accounts of the disease was Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. Monette is also the author of a moving collection of poems celebrating the life of his deceased lover. Among the nongay literature of AIDS. superstition. by the end of 1994.ALAZON Much of the early AIDS literature was angry. affirm the strengths of homosexual love in the face of death. and his novels Afterlife (1990) and Halfway Home (1991). provides a variety of views on using literature as a means of understanding the disease and its ramifications. frequently taking the form of the miles gloriosus (the BRAGGART WARRIOR) or the learned bore (“the pedant”). In film. the first play to bring AIDS to the attention of the general public. Love Alone: Eighteen Elegies for Rog (1988). the EIRON. alazon A Greek term meaning impostor. the AIDS crisis forms the center of the most acclaimed American play in many years. edited by Emmanuel Nelson (1992). edited by Judith Laurence Pastore (1993). a notable example is Alice Hoffman’s At Risk (1988). direct. He sometimes figures in the comic plot as one of the suitors of the heroine and is frequently set up in contrast to his opposite. a gruesome reminder of the close connection between fiction and fact. and Larry Kramer’s play The Normal Heart (1985). is a collection of critical essays examining the literature of the crisis from a variety of perspectives. AIDS: The Literary Response. and fear that greeted the disease. the epidemic has been captured in Longtime Companion (1990) and Philadelphia (1993). 43 of them had died. Modern versions of the alazon figure include the figures of the professor in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya (1899) and Captain Boyle in Sean O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock (1924). it has been tempered by infusions of comedy and the themes of love.

More realistically.ALCOHOL alcohol A prominent feature in DRAMA. also celebrate the state of inebriation. This is particularly true of modern American literature. William Faulkner. Among the finest explorations of the experience is Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano (1947). the names of writers who came of age during the Prohibition years and became addicted include F. Dashiell Hammet. In addition to his portrayal of collective drunkenness as one aspect of the occult powers accorded to followers of Dionysus. 16 . when writers begin to examine the major role it plays in the lives of their characters. suggesting analogies between the alcoholic’s disintegration and that of Europe on the brink of World War II. the god of wine. Scott Fitzgerald. and Robert Lowell. 405 b. it provokes the desire.) to Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night (1940). the playwrights Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams.” Another notable imbiber is Sidney Carton. Whatever the reason. from Rabelais’ Gargantua (1534) to W. Theodore Roethke. “It is a far. which turned drinking into a defiant.c. Aristotle asserts that drama emerges from hymns in praise of Dionysus. Ring Lardner. The hallucinatory visions and voices he experiences are interwoven throughout the novel. Drinking and drunkenness plays a central role both in comedy. in which Heracles’ inebriated state almost leads to catastrophe. John Cheever. John Steinbeck. it provokes and unprovokes. John Berryman. the Drunken Porter in Macbeth sees drink as playing an equivocal role in one area: “Lechery. was Prohibition.” But despite its long lineage. where an astonishingly high number of the best writers have been outright alcoholics or extremely heavy drinkers.c. in which the pilgrimage to the Oracle of the Holy Bottle leads to the oracular message. the poets Hart Crane. Ernest Hemingway. In his Poetics. Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night and Falstaff in his three plays. Malcolm Lowry. Sir. in Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities (1859). far better thing I do than anything I have ever done. Euripides depicts the peril of individual drunkenness in his Alcestis (438 b. “Drink. The reverse side of the warning about the evils of alcohol forms the climax of Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pontagruel (1532–64). it has been suggested.” Shakespeare’s notable drinkers. One reason for this phenomenon. alcohol does not “come of age” until the 20th century. and in tragedy. from Euripides’ Bacchae (c.C.). Norman Mailer. Sinclair Lewis. alcohol is a constitutive aspect of its very foundation. Thomas Wolfe. who before sacrificing his life to save another declares. Many of these writers engaged the subject of alcoholism in their writing. which records the disintegration of an alcoholic British consul in Mexico. rebellious act. James Dickey. Fields. but it takes away the performance. (See APOLLONIAN/DIONYSIAN).

and Mike Figgis’s Leaving Las Vegas (1995). capitalist society. F. social thinkers such as C. and psychologists such as Eric Fromm (The Sane Society. the drinkers fall back into their selfdeceptive illusions. and literature as a central feature of modern life. pub. 1951) and Herbert Marcuse (One Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society. Two films dealing with alcoholism are Billy Wilder’s The Lost Weekend (1947) based on a novel by Charles Jackson. W. deprived of the satisfaction of experiencing their work as a meaningful expression of themselves. in which the alcoholic Albee uses drink to achieve an abandonment. while his counterpart Levenson overcomes his fear of failure. 17 . The Power and the Glory (1940). Reduced to viewing the fruits of their labor as objects and commodities. Marx adapted the term to describe the condition of workers in industrialized. which for him has been embodied in the person of Albee.ALIENATION Another powerful and illuminating account of the alcoholic experience written by one who knew it at firsthand. a loss of self that he thinks of as heroic. For Hegel. When he leaves. 1964). A notable exception: Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene. and Saul Bellow’s The Victim (1947). Wright Mills (White Collar: The American Middle Classes. according to Marx. Gilmore’s Equivocal Spirits: Alcohol and Drinking in Twentieth-Century Literature (1987) is an excellent account of the ways in which “literature may confirm. In the 20th century. Notable novels written by writers who were not themselves problem drinkers are Graham Greene’s study of an alcoholic priest hunted by an anticlerical government in 1930s Mexico. is Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh (1939. the first eight in iambic pentameter. identified in philosophy. alienation is the inevitable condition arising from the gap between human consciousness and the natural world. Hegel and Karl Marx. The standard line in traditional French verse. dramatize. intensify. between the inner world and the outer world. in which reformed drinker Hickey forces the alcoholic habitues of Harry’s Bar to recognize their pathetic self-deceptions as “pipe dreams. 1965) developed these terms further. the social sciences. alexandrine In PROSODY a line of six iambic feet (12 syllables).” But at the play’s conclusion he confesses that he himself has killed his faithful wife and is going to turn himself in. extend. it is rarely used in English. which consists of nine-line stanzas. This pervasive use of the term derives from the 19th-century German philosophers G. Thomas B. experience alienation not only within themselves but also among one another because of the competitive ethos of capitalism. and occasionally even challenge” scientific studies of alcoholism. modern workers. 1946). with the ninth line an alexandrine. alienation The sense of estrangement from society or the self.

(The Trial. Salinger’s Holden Caulfield (The Catcher in the Rye. It is this painful self-consciousness that characterizes much of modern poetry. however. 1951). and the young Marlon Brando. that life is finally ABSURD. 1864). Tolstoy’s Ivan Ilych (The Death of Ivan Ilych. “Hell is other people. the alienation theme had merged with the larger current of existentialist thought and feeling. perhaps most explicitly. alienation tends to come closer to the Hegelian definition with its emphasis on the disparity between the self and the world. the film personae of James Dean. In fiction. As represented in literature. 1886). The collection Man Alone: Alienation in Modern Society (1962). has played a relatively minor role in literary history. But on another level. Ellison’s Invisible Man (1952). edited by Eric and Mary Josephson. In its literary form. however.ALIENATION EFFECT The Marxist sense of the term. The close association of this mood with the EXISTENTIALISM of Sartre and Camus is not accidental. consciousness and the objects of consciousness. is also alienated from himself. Melville’s Bartleby (Bartleby the Scrivener. In drama the alienated figure emerges in the tortured characters of Henrik Ibsen. and acutely conscious of his condition. alienation effect A term coined by the German dramatist Bertolt Brecht to describe a desired detachment on the part of both actors and audience to pre18 . Eliot’s The Waste Land (1920) and the CONFESSIONAL POETRY of Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath. the haunted family of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night (1940). Central to much of this poetry is not only a repudiation of modern culture but also an agonized self-estrangement that has come to serve as the signature of the modern artist. see Erich Heller’s The Disinherited Mind (1952). in the formulation from Sartre’s No Exit (1945). and. Kafka’s Joseph K. S.and 20th-century literature— Dostoyevsky’s Underground Man (Notes from Underground. Jean-Paul Belmondo. 1850). these works point to a more profound malaise: the sense that human existence lacks any coherence or purpose.The introspective prince. 1925). and Camus’s The Stranger (1942)— are only a few of the many figures haunted by the shallowness and hypocrisy of modern life. For a major study of literary alienation.” See MODERNISM. the alienated figures of 19th. For a discussion of the existentialist connection see William Barrett’s Irrational Man: A Study in Existentialist Philosophy (1958). is an anthology of classic writings on the subject. it invokes an earlier time. alienation emerges as a major theme with the birth of ROMANTICISM. for the icon of alienation in the Romantic period is doubtless Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In the wake of World War II. from the English Romantics and French Symbolists to T. the richly ironic tragicomic figures of Anton Chekhov. Even here. alienated from his world and the role of avenger thrust upon him.

provides a satirical allegory of the REFORMATION. but there is an important distinction between the two. in the age of MODERNISM symbolism came to be preferred to the seemingly antiquated technique of allegory. the use of human characters to represent abstract ideas. As a result. where it “may be picked up and dropped at pleasure. such as in The Scarlet Letter (1850). Medieval MORALITY PLAYS were allegories in which abstractions such as Mankind. As a result. allegory A type of NARRATIVE in which the surface story reflects at least one other meaning. and Death appeared as characters. part of his commitment to MARXIST CRITICISM. and personal asides designed to remind the audience that they are watching a play. Jonathan Swift’s Tale of a Tub (1704). 19 . Another type of allegory uses the surface story to refer to historical or political events and persons.ALLEGORY vent them from becoming emotionally involved in the action of the play. Traditional allegory frequently employs PERSONIFICATION. such as The Faerie Queene (1590–96). Symbolism. which maintains the allegorical meaning throughout the narrative. music. allegorical technique had begun to fall from favor. Martin Esslin’s Brecht: The Man and His Work (1960) offers an excellent survey of Brecht’s achievement as a dramatist. See EPIC THEATER. and intermittent allegory. the reality is closer to that depicted in allegory. In allegory. Northrop Frye distinguishes between a continuous allegory. Ironically. playwrights in the West have adopted these techniques while they were rejected in countries under Communist control. Good Deeds. for example. His aim.” By the 19th century. That is. In his Anatomy of Criticism (1957). Brecht employed such features as placards. For them. A symbol bears a natural relation to the events of the story: the whale in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (1851) is both a whale and a mysterious force. another method of representing an alternative meaning. became the preferred form. the surface story is often an arbitrary excuse for the secondary meaning. Penance. Symbolism and allegory sometimes overlap. was for the audience to examine the social and economic causes that lay beyond the actions and conditions in his plays. From Brecht’s perspective the practice of being swept away in complete identification with the characters produces a reaction that is highly emotional but insufficiently critical and reflective. deconstructionists see the idea of a “natural” relation between a word and the object to which it refers as a comforting illusion. More recently allegory has made a comeback. in theory if not in practice: DECONSTRUCTION argues that the arbitrary quality of allegory is an accurate reflection of the character of language itself.

20 . S. in which the heroic deeds in the Odyssey are implicitly contrasted to the banal details of everyday life in modern Dublin). alliteration is a distinctive feature of OLD ENGLISH poetry. alternative history See COUNTERFACTUAL FICTION. or to point to an ironic contrast between contemporary life and a heroic past (as in James Joyce’s classical parallels in Ulysses [1922]. a work that had a powerful impact on the development of NEW CRITICISM and of subsequent literary theory (see INDETERMINACY).ALLITERATION An additional use of the term is as the second of the FOUR LEVELS OF MEANING in medieval exegeses of biblical and literary texts. Lewis’s The Allegory of Love (1936) provides a clear discussion of the traditional sense of the term. to a lesser extent. In film. Northrop Frye discusses allegory in his Anatomy of Criticism (1957). . . This view of the term was dominant until the publication of William Empson’s Seven Types of Ambiguity (1930). as in this line from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: “The battlements broken down and burnt to brands and ashes. place. Christopher Ricks’s Allusion to the Poets (2002) is a stimulating treatment of the subject.” Other uses of an allusion might be to summarize an important idea (as in the concluding line from King Kong: “It was Beauty killed the Beast”). of prose. ambiguity In ordinary usage the term refers to a lack of clarity in a situation or in an expression.” This is a reference to Father Henry Garnet. allusion A reference within a literary text to some person. A common feature of traditional poetry and. ironic context. or in a mocking. Those referring to specific people are personal allusions. who committed treason enough for God’s sake . feeble and wretched. Paul DeMan’s Allegories of Reading (1979) reflects the deconstructionist sense. homage is the term for one director’s allusion to another’s work. Allusions that refer to events more or less contemporary with the text are called topical allusions. . as in this line from Beowulf: “From a friendless foundling.” Alliteration also plays an important role in MIDDLE ENGLISH literature. a Jesuit priest who justified equivocation (a form of lying) during his trial for treason in connection with the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.” Modern poets use it sparingly. In language use it is generally regarded as an error or flaw. or event out- side the text. C. . alliteration The repetition of stressed initial sounds in a group of words that are closely connected to one another. An example of a topical allusion is the reference of the drunken porter in Macbeth to “an equivocator . An example of personal allusion is William Butler Yeats’s reference to “golden thighed Pythagoras” in his poem “Among School Children.

Empson’s considerable contribution to 20th-century criticism is discussed in Christopher Norris’s William Empson and the Philosophy of Literary Criticism (1978). because they are now abandoned by all but the grey walls coloured like the skies of winter. the period also boasted four poets. venerated in their own time and even today looked upon as important 21 . Thoreau (Walden. . a rich mixture of Romantic ideas and American individualism. 1847). An example of Empson’s analysis is his discussion of a line from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 73. and many more relating the simile to its place in the Sonnet. In addition to the outstanding figures listed above. because the cold and narcissistic charm suggested by the choir boys suits well with Shakespeare’s feeling for the object of the Sonnets [the young gentleman to whom the sonnets are addressed]. Poems. 1851). however slight. 1850). . . .AMERICAN RENAISSANCE Empson used the term to describe a literary technique in which a word or phrase conveys two or more different meanings. because they are made of wood.” The reference here is to the abandoned Catholic monasteries where choir boys once sang. Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter. and there is a sort of ambiguity in not knowing which of them to hold most clearly in mind. . and Whitman (Leaves of Grass. The American critic F. Matthiessen first employed the term to describe the major works of Emerson (Essays. which gives room for alternative reactions to the same piece of language. and for various sociological and historical reasons (the Protestant destruction of monasteries. fear of puritanism) . Melville (Moby Dick. Seven Types of Ambiguity represents the first sustained analysis of the phenomenon of multiple meaning. or PLURISIGNATION. because they involve sitting in a row. Critical to the development of literature and thought in the period was the movement known as TRANSCENDENTALISM. In the poem the speaker compares his advancing age to a tree in early winter and the boughs of that tree to “Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang. 1855). must all combine to give the line its beauty.” Included among the “seven types” is the traditional meaning of the term. O. Now the term is used to describe the entire American literary output in the 30 years preceding the Civil War. He defined ambiguity as “any verbal nuance. Here is Empson’s analysis: The comparison is sound because ruined monastery choirs are places to sing. 1841. 1854). American renaissance A term for a period of American literature that saw a remarkable outburst of creativity in American letters. but the chief interest of the book lies in examples of the ways in which ambiguity can enhance the experience of poetry.

who has been pretending that his name was Ernest. Matthiessen’s study. and a˘ stone on my head 22 . John Greenleaf Whittier (Voices of Freedom. Writing from a feminist perspective. Charlene Avallone has challenged Matthiessen’s exclusion of women writers in “What American Renaissance? The Gendered Genealogy of a Critical Discourse” in PMLA (October 1997). fire. generally considered a seminal work of American literary criticism. Unlike these poets. analogy functions as an extended SIMILE or METAPHOR. Oliver Wendell Holmes (“The Wonderful One Hoss Shay. anagogical See FOUR LEVELS OF MEANING.ANAGNORISIS figures in the development of American poetry: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (The Song of Hiawatha. anagnorisis In DRAMA. and his fiction helped to create two unique genres. for example. As a figure of speech. a term describing the moment of discovery or recogni- tion by the protagonist. 1846). as in this line from William Cowper: ‚ ˘ ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ ˘ ‚ ˘ With a˘ turf on my breast. Other important developments in the period were the publication of SLAVE NARRATIVES and of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s fictional indictment of slavery Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852). In TRAGEDY such a moment frequently accompanies the PERIPETEIA. choler. analogy A comparison based upon a similarity between two things. In Beneath the American Renaissance (1980). As a mode of thought. and James Russell Lowell (The Biglow Papers. O. 1102–20. 1855). and water. phlegm. David Reynolds maintains that the major authors were heavily indebted to the popular culture of the period.” 1858). yet he made the greater impact on literary history. and bile—are analogous to the four elements in nature: earth. the common Renaissance belief that the four HUMORS in a person’s body—blood. discovers that Ernest really is his name. where Jack. In COMEDY. the DETECTIVE STORY and HORROR FICTION. air. it refers to the process of reasoning from parallel examples. the reversal or downturn of his fortune. Poe’s poetry and criticism proved to be an important influence on the French SYMBOLIST poets. Edgar Allan Poe was almost completely neglected in his time. is The American Renaissance: Art and Experience in the Age of Emerson and Whitman (1941). a connection parodied at the conclusion of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). 1848). F. as in Oedipus’s discovery of his true identity in Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex. the recognition leads to the happy ending. anapest A metrical FOOT containing two unaccented syllables followed by an accented syllable.

always threatened. anarchism Political creed advocating the elimination of governmental authority in favor of the voluntary association of individuals or groups. in every ban The mind-forg’d manacles I hear. the alliance of anarchism and the trade union movement in France. which they saw as the inevitable social result of an outmoded economic system. for example. causing them to “make it new” in Pound’s phrase. pacifist groups as well as the more aggressive forms that involved anarchist communism and anarchosyndicalism. by the anarchist impulse. a figure of speech in which a word or words are repeated. William Blake’s “London” provides an example: In every cry of every man In every infant’s cry of fear In every vice. on literary MODERNISM and American PRAGMATISM. the links between anarchism and creative writers were the philosophical pragmatists William James and John Dewey. In America. underlying truth that supports social existence. According to the critic David Kadlec. usually at the beginning of successive sentences or lines of verse. who advocated a Christian-based form of nonviolent resistance to the state. the outstanding figure is Leo Tolstoy. Kadlec maintains that.ANARCHISM anaphora In RHETORIC. struggled against the debasement of language. The Secret Agent (1907) and particularly Under Western Eyes (1911). powerful novels.” The poets Marianne Moore and William Carlos Williams. who shared a common bond with “anarchism of the good kind. This sense of the term originated in the mid-1800s. Earlier the term had been used. creating an atmosphere on both sides of the Atlantic that had a powerful impact on modern writers. Ezra Pound and James Joyce . As for the more aggressive terrorist form of anarchism. first coined by the French political philosopher Pierre Proudhon. in his eyes. as it is still used today. the common association of anarchism with leftist movements has led to the failure to see the important impact of anarchist principles.” the idea of a bedrock. he explores the impenetrable conflict of revolutionary violence and authoritarian despotism. despite their political differences. anarchists and pragmatists were as one in rejecting the notion of “foundations. Conrad’s repudiation of anarchism is based on a profound belief in a natural order. to characterize groups who promote social chaos by TERRORISM or other violent means. the best-known writer to examine it is Joseph Conrad. on the other hand. anarchism has assumed a variety of forms that include nonviolent. In fact. Among literary figures associated with anarchism. In two penetrating. saw in the anarchist rejection of “first principles” a political and philosophical context for the radical new poetic and narrative forms that distinguish their work. for example. to 23 .

whose training as a cultural anthropologist enabled her to see through the artificial categories of “race. “We’re uh mingled people. and John Barth’s The Sot-Weed Factor (1974) employ opposite-sex twins as embodiments of androgynous ideals. Orlando in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando (1928). the heroine of Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Are Watching God. Northrop Frye defines the term as “a form of fiction . characterized by a great variety of subject matter and a strong interest in ideas. FEMINIST CRITICISM has created a new sensitivity about the presence of androgyny in less obvious forms. the thorough analysis of a significant subject involv- ing the division of the subject into its constituent parts. In his Anatomy of Criticism (1957). . Still another is the androgynous hero: Leopold Bloom in James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922). Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1838). Culture (2000) details the case for the alignment of anarchism and pragmatism and their employment by certain modern artists. Kadlec also invokes the figure of Zora Neale Hurston. Writers in the English Renaissance adapted the medical sense of the term in order to probe a particular subject. The critic Mark Spilka has argued that Hemingway’s strenu24 . anatomy In literature. of an ancient unified being of whom male and female are displaced halves seeking in sexual contact a long lost union. not “natural. These novels and others exemplify what the critic Carolyn Heilbrun calls “the androgynous ideal. Another form is the motif of a woman disguised as a man (in Shakespeare’s comedies). recorded in Plato. the life of Ernest Hemingway.” thus pointing to the cultural. 1959). George Woodcock’s Anarchism (1962) is a clear and objective analysis.” basis of racial identity. and the hero/heroine of Gore Vidal’s Myra Breckinridge (1968).” androgyny The combination of male and female characteristics. David Kadlec’s Mosaic Modernism: Anarchism. or man disguised as a woman (Thomas Branson’s Charley’s Aunt.” based not upon the polarization of men and women. In its literary adaptation. Pragmatism. The literary tradition rests on the myth. Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot. Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. but on their integration.” As Janie Crawford. puts it. Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy (1621) constitutes an exhaustive analysis of the melancholic HUMOR. 1892. One is the motif of boy-girl twins. androgyny assumes a number of forms. The word itself combines the Greek words for male (andros) and female (gynous). for example in that most unlikely of places. For example.ANATOMY break with traditional poetic forms. . Dickens’s unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870).

By the late 19th century a new group of Anglo Irish had arisen. who returned to Celtic mythology as the inspirational source of his poetry. were efforts to repress an attraction to androgyny deeply rooted in the writer’s childhood. Most of the literature of the period was either in Latin or in the Norman dialect of French. literature written largely by Irish Protestants loyal to the English throne during the “Protestant Ascendancy” in Ireland. Yeats in turn influenced Lady Augusta Gregory. Carolyn Heilbrun’s Toward a Recognition of Androgyny (1973) traces the theme from Greek myth to modern literature. and the song composer Thomas Moore. With the exception of Shaw. passionately denounced the oppressive features of English rule. In its narrower and more common sense. while not identifying themselves as Irish. Richard Steele. The establishment of the Irish republic in 1921 marked the end of “Anglo Irish” as a meaningful term. such as bullfighting and big game hunting. a fact that appears to have little influence on the work of George Farquahr. and a host of talented writers who wrote for the ABBEY THEATRE. Others. the period following the Norman invasion of England in 1066 until the middle of the 14th century. Among important works were Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae (History 25 . Laurence Sterne. rather than Gaelic. John Millington Synge. and George Bernard Shaw. such as the novelist Maria Edgeworth. by Irish authors. all appeared to identify themselves as Englishmen. Oliver Goldsmith. literature written in English. Anglo-Irish literature In the most general sense. Their work spearheaded what came to be known as the IRISH RENAISSANCE. Oscar Wilde. Sean O’Casey. Denis Donoghue’s We Irish (1986) discusses the term’s “identity problem. drew upon Irish culture and themes to define their work. Richard Brinsley Sheridan. such as Edmund Burke and Jonathan Swift.” Anglo Norman In English literature. Distinguished Ulster poets such as John Montague. Still others. the poet James Clarence Mangan. impatient with England’s refusal to grant Home Rule and defining themselves as Irish. even in the six counties that constitute the Unionist state of Ulster (Northern Ireland). During that period many of the most distinguished authors in English literature were born in Ireland. For the question of Hemingway’s androgyny see Mark Spilka’s Hemingway’s Quarrel with Androgyny (1990). the period from the late 17th century until the end of English rule in 1921. Seamus Heaney.ANGLO NORMAN ously masculine exploits. and Derek Mahon identify themselves as Irish. Chief among these figures was William Butler Yeats.

Anglo Saxon See OLD ENGLISH. 1340) and Dame Julian(a) of Norwich (Revelations of Divine Love). an important source of material relating to King Arthur. and Allan Sillitoe’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1958) and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1959). Another religious genre popular in the period involved the recounting of mystical experiences. Kierkegaard’s analysis forms the core of his The Concept of Dread (1844). Richard Wilson’s Early Middle English Literature (revised edition. the language we know as MIDDLE ENGLISH had evolved sufficiently to serve as a vehicle for the first great English poet. Kenneth Allsop’s The Angry Decade (1958) is an incisive account of the period. 1200) for young women preparing to enter the cloister. are photographed by a special camera to give the illusion of movement. animated films Films in which thousands of cartoon drawings.” used by the 19th-century theologian Søren Kierkegaard to describe the combination of guilt and fear that accompanies the loss of religious faith. Major mystical authors include Richard Rolle (Meditations on the Passion. 1968) surveys the literature from 1066 to 1300. In the formative years of animation these films required 26 . c. the term has been applied to Kingsly Amis’s Lucky Jim (1953). In fiction. angst A German word meaning “dread. M. Stenton’s English Society in the Early Middle Ages (1952) depicts the social background. John Braine’s Room at the Top (1957). and the Ancrene Riwle (Rule for Anchoresses. See EXISTENTIALISM. This sense of the word is alluded to in the last name of the protagonist of John Updike’s Rabbit tetralogy—Angstrom.ANGLO SAXON of the Kings of England. each slightly different from the next. By the middle of the 14th century. Dame Julian(a) recorded the mystical experiences she underwent while suffering from a severe illness. 1135). The best known example of the work these writers produced is the angry working-class hero of John Osborne’s drama Look Back in Anger (1956). angry young men A term applied to a group of English writers. part legend. Geoffrey Chaucer. part history. c. whose novels and plays in the 1950s featured protagonists who responded with articulate rage to the malaise that engulfed postwar England. and D. c.

Pinocchio (1940). or plays usually sharing a similar sub- ject. Since the 1930s. Thus the antagonist in Hamlet is the villainous King Claudius. They included excerpts from the major English writers. These “McGuffey Readers” were enormously successful school textbooks (over 100 million copies sold in the 19th century). antagonist The chief opponent of the main character in a play or novel. anonymous. or place of origin. used to assert the idea that a verbal utterance does not indicate a “thinking.” What Foucault is suggesting is that in the way we think and talk about a given topic. knowing. Important anthologies in the history of American culture are the six Eclectic Readers (1836–57). Today the work is done largely with a computer. Anthropology and literature first united in the early years of the century when a group of classical scholars at Cambridge University 27 . period of time. “which reflects not an individual’s intention. meaning. chosen to communicate moral lessons to their readers. anthology A collection of essays. and social perspectives. that is to say. Among the most important anthologies in English literature is Thomas Percy’s Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765). poems. Foucault’s analysis appears in his Archaeology of Knowledge (1972). and full length animated classics such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). like the power they serve. Anthropology and literary studies have increasingly overlapped in the 20th century.ANTHROPOLOGY the labor of hundreds of illustrators. we have internalized a range of discourses that are. animated films have been dominated by one name. compiled by William Holmes McGuffey. is called the PROTAGONIST. cultural. anonymous discourse The French theorist Michel Foucault’s term. including the innovative Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). in which cartoon and human characters appear to be interacting with one another. the creator of cartoon characters. The main character. and Fantasia (1940) that achieved worldwide fame. anthropology The study of human societies from physical. Walt Disney. Long after his death the company that bears his name continues to produce successful animated films. which created a popular taste for traditional English and Scottish ballads. while the antagonist in Macbeth is the righteous Macduff. In other words we speak a language whose definitions have been imposed upon us. speaking subject” but a totality. such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. whether HERO or VILLAIN.

Eliot cited it as a source of The Waste Land (1922). the scene manages to intensify the tragic tone by suggesting that the murder has transformed Macbeth’s castle into hell. literature. Geertz’s own ethnographies have served as models for practitioners of NEW HISTORICISM. An example is the Drunken Porter scene following the murder of Duncan in Macbeth. Furthermore. or anthropological description. Lévi-Strauss’s study of primitive society. Central to the contemporary relation of literature and anthropology is the current view of ETHNOGRAPHY. S. in which he noted the universal tendency to classify and order according to some principle—for example. In turn. 1964)—provided one of the key elements of structuralism for literary critics. as analyzed by Thomas De Quincey in his famous essay “On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth” (1823). the notion of BINARY OPPOSITION as basic to human thought. some ethnographers. ethnographers have become increasingly aware of the extent to which the conventions of narrative shape and alter their descriptions. in striving for what Geertz terms “thick descriptions. but. or that their descriptions tell a story. An apparent anticlimax can be. James Clifford’s The Predicament of Culture (1988) looks at the relation of ethnography and art.ANTICLIMAX (see CAMBRIDGE RITUALISTS) employed James Frazier’s anthropological study The Golden Bough (1890–1915) to argue that classical myth. Frazier’s study took on added significance when T. a falling off in intensity and interest following a serious high point. and religion had their origins in primitive rituals (see MYTH CRITICISM). On the surface the scene’s comic tone seems inappropriate at such a solemn moment. The second great influence of anthropology on literary study has been STRUCTURALISM. In the world of cultural anthropologists such as Clifford Geertz. while at the same time suggesting a kind of redemption with the entrance of Macduff. unless a writer is employing it for a humorous effect.” The anti-hero may be cowardly. a brilliant enhancement of the scene. on closer examination. the contrast between raw and cooked (The Raw and the Cooked. anti-hero The principal character in a play or novel who exhibits qualities the opposite of those usually regarded as “heroic. specifically the work of the French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss. The term has a pejorative connotation when used to indicate a flaw in a narrative or play.” have called for a greater reliance on literary techniques in order to convey the actual experiences of the societies they study. 28 . which begins with an inebriated gatekeeper responding to a loud knocking on the gate to admit the noblemen Macduff and Lennox to the castle. anticlimax In fiction or drama.

. the anti-heroic comic figure finds two perfect proponents in Jaroslav Hasek’s The Good Soldier Schweik (trans. . Here Shakespeare sets the tone in Falstaff’s “catechism” on honor from Henry IV Part 1. Victor Brombert’s In Praise of Anti-Heroes (1999) eloquently discourses on the relation of the anti-hero to the spirit of our time. . Although occasionally present in earlier literature. although present in a few classical writers. the representation of Jews in terms of certain negative stereotypes. the “judge–penitent. In the 20th century. failure in ambition and ability. As the critic Victor Brombert points out. attack the heroic ideal at its heart. inept. IRONY.” (See HERO. failure to speak clearly. . . failure in attitude. His own failure. The Gospels 29 . His progeny have been many. self-doubting. . indeed in everything. the field of military valor. occasionally abject characters . the underground man records his rage and humiliation as he rails against the prevailing belief in human reason and scientific progress. ineffectual. Northrop Frye’s account of low mimetic and ironic modes is developed in his Anatomy of Criticism (1957). in Northrop Frye’s phrase. Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News (1993): . pale. beautiful people with whom he associates. Here is the description of the anti-hero of E. inept. anti-Jewish prejudice. much of which is written. The anti-heroic strain also adapts itself well to comedy with its inherent impulse to debunk the pretensions to greatness that heroism implies.” Notable recent examples include the narrator of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man (1952) and Jean-Baptiste Clamence. is primarily rooted in the New Testament. 1930) and in Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 (1961). Both Schweik and Yossarian. the anti-hero has proven to be a staple of modern literature. Locked in his room.” confessing his sins in Albert Camus’s The Fall (1954). “Nineteenth and twentieth century literature is . bespectacled figure embodied by Woody Allen in his films always implies a critique of the pretentious.ANTI-SEMITISM weak. crowded with weak. neurotic. first-person narrator of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground (1864). In Western culture. failure to sit up straight.) The modern prototype (he even uses the term anti-hero to describe himself) is the anonymous. Heller’s antihero. Similarly. where the old knight asserts that “honor” is a mere word that he’ll have none of. anti-Semitism In literature. humiliated. the weak. failure to get up in the morning. or simply unlucky. in the “ironic mode.” Frye describes the ironic mode as one in which “the characters exhibit a power of action inferior to the one assumed to be normal by the reader or audience.

the play’s fierce.” In the 18th century anti-Semitism appears regularly in the writings of Voltaire. “a permanently equivocal trouble to all of us. and Judas. has given birth to a host of controversial and conflicting interpretations in print. it is merely one facet of his unique. and the representation of Jews as responsible for the crucifixion is a recurring feature of MYSTERY PLAYS. The image of Jews as child murderers constitutes the main action of “The Prioress’s Tale” in The Canterbury Tales (1380–1400). the depiction of the Jews as a race of “Christ-killers. on the other. In English Renaissance drama.ANTI-SEMITISM in fact introduce the figures who were to become the basis of enduring individual Jewish stereotypes: Herod. the history of the West. Christian-hating moneylender. Twentieth-century writers charged with harboring anti-Semitic attitudes include the poet Ezra Pound and the French novelist Louis-Ferdinand Céline. but the other play. He is. Much more subtle are the references to rich and greedy Jewish bankers in the novels of Honoré de Balzac and Henry James. Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (1595). like Jesus himself. No one. are equally stereotypical. on stage. while positive. he is one of Shakespeare’s greatest dramatic achievements whose “Hath not a Jew eyes” speech echoes through time as a searing denunciation of anti-Semitism. 1904. two plays by its two greatest dramatists helped to perpetuate the myth of the Jew as arch-villain. Bloom is not defined by his Jewishness. but the Jewish characters in these novels. The attempt to represent a pro-Semitic point of view is evident in Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe (1820) and George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda (1876). By the late middle ages.” produced a legacy that has distorted. the betrayer (for a price) of Christ. and in society as a whole. Medieval Europe also gave birth to anti-Semitic legends such as the story of the wandering Jew. But a far more potent stereotype. Particularly ironic is that. is a stereotypical villain who launched a thousand anti-Semitic progeny. The 19th-century novel maintained the “villain Jew” stereotype in the characters of Fagin in Oliver Twist (1837–39) and Svengali in George Du Maurier’s Trilby (1894). as few events have. memorable. the association of Jewish behavior with both treason and avarice surfaces in the MORALITY PLAYS. in the critic Harold Bloom’s words. the slaughterer of children. Shylock. the fictional date when Leopold Bloom left his house to walk the streets of Dublin in James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922). these biblical descriptions had developed into literary stereotypes. 30 . On the one hand. could get it right until June 16. complex character. it seemed. whose celebrated commitment to tolerance apparently did not include Jews and Catholics. Christopher Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta (1590) catered to a current of anti-Semitism. the authors of the Gospels were Jews.

before anyone was aware of the extremes to which anti-Semitism might be put. one of the leading exponents of DECONSTRUCTION. The assumption shared by most anti-Stratfordians is that Shakespeare.ANTI-STRATFORDIAN THEORIES both of whom were active supporters of Fascist regimes and were outspoken in their denunciation of Jews. The chief candidates for the authorship of the plays have been Sir Francis Bacon. who has argued that this attitude is reflected in the lives and writings of four prominent 20th-century literary figures: the novelist André Gide. and Edward de Vere. a position that exhibits a touching faith in the virtues of the aristocracy. The long tradition of “polite” anti-Semitism in France has been examined recently by the critic Jeffrey Mehlman. the 17th-century essayist and philosopher. A name recently added to this list is that of Paul De Man. The supporters of Marlowe are not deterred by the fact that Marlowe was murdered in 1593. Mehlman makes it clear that most of the evidence for these attitudes derives from the writings of these men before the Nazis transformed social snobbery into an unimagined horror—that is. 17th earl of Oxford. the playwright Jean Giraudoux. 15 (summer. anti-Stratfordian theories A general term for the belief that someone other than William Shakespeare wrote the plays attributed to him. like Marlowe’s. could not have written these great plays. many of Shakespeare’s greatest plays were written after that date. Nevertheless. Jeffrey Mehlman’s study is Legacies of Anti-Semitism in France (1983). The question of Paul De Man’s wartime writings is debated in the journal Critical Inquiry v. they have argued that Marlowe’s death was staged and that he continued to live abroad. a year in which Shakespeare was just beginning his career. Bacon’s candidacy was advanced as early as 1769 and was supported in the 19th century by Mark Twain among others. and the prominent critical theorists Maurice Blanchot and Jacques Lacan. Mehlman suggests that those attitudes contributed to an atmosphere that made possible the HOLOCAUST. Edgar Rosenberg’s From Shylock to Svengali (1960) traces the history of anti-Semitism in English literature. The most popular recent candidate has been the earl of Oxford. a commoner with only a grammar school education. the dramatist Christopher Marlowe. whose claim. conveying the plays to Shakespeare’s company through an intermediary. Frank Wadsworth’s The Poacher from Stratford (1958) offers a comprehensive account of the controversy. 1989). is considerably undermined by Oxford’s death in 1604. 31 .

and that the Apollonian element is a later accretion. Both strophe and antistrophe were written in the same METER. aphorism A brief. the Book of Revelation accord- ing to John. apocrypha Works of the Old and New Testament not admitted to the CANON by the Catholic Church. In literature. An example of an apocryphal play is Edward III.ANTISTROPHE antistrophe In classical Greek drama. apocalypse Literally. the last book of the BIBLE. rooted in powerful and primitive emotions. apocope See SYNCOPE. Among English poets associated with the apocalyptic strain. such as “God is in the details. The more general sense. Apollonian/Dionysian Contrasting terms coined by the 19th-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. 32 . the Apollonian (after the god Apollo) stands for order.” An aphorism is similar to an EPIGRAM. aphaeresis See SYNCOPE. the god of wine) represents the spontaneous. a response by a section of the CHORUS to a previous strophe (a stanza of verse). elegant statement of a principle or opinion. whose “The Second Coming” is among the most celebrated poems of the 20th century. Nietzsche employs these terms in his The Birth of Tragedy (1872). and William Butler Yeats. in which he argues that Greek tragedy is essentially Dionysian. (See SCIENCE FICTION. See also “LEFT BEHIND” NOVELS. the term is applied to works whose authorship is questionable. reflected in the adjective apocalyptic. or works rejected by Jews or Protestants for doubtful validity. a history play that many scholars believe was written partly by Shakespeare. The creation of the atomic bomb in 1945 has moved the apocalyptic form closer to realism. NUCLEAR WAR. while the Dionysian (after Dionysus. For Nietzsche. is a type of literature that is prophetic or focused on the end of the world. and moral behavior. This position directly contradicted the prevailing view of Nietzsche’s time. many of whose works—including his Milton (1801) and Jerusalem (1804)—are apocalyptic visions. and amoral spirit of life. differing only in the epigram’s emphasis on WIT. irrational.) Frank Kermode’s The Sense of an Ending (1967) is a study of apocalyptic fiction. but has been confirmed by later studies. the outstanding figures are William Blake. rationality.

used in classical philosophy to describe a debate in which the arguments on each side are equally valid. the inner contradiction that. when the Prince turns from a conversation with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to declare: What a piece of work is a man. in apprehension how like a god: the beauty of the world. burning bright In the forest of the night. What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? appearance/reality A recurring theme in literature. Its classical statement occurs in the Myth of the Cave in Plato’s Republic: Plato’s parable pictures people chained in a cave and facing a wall. apostrophe A figure of speech in which a speaker turns from the audience to address an absent person or abstract idea. It differs from a soliloquy in that the speaker of an apostrophe need not be alone on the stage. the distinction between what appears to be and what is has taken on a wide variety of forms. the chicken or the egg?” is an example of an aporia. what is this quintessence of dust? The apostrophe also figures prominently in lyric poetry. in form and moving how express and admirable. how infinite in faculties. Most people remain within the cave. appearance is the outer “clothing” that disguises the inner reality. tyger. according to deconstructionist critics. how noble in reason. the paragon of animals—and yet. as in William Blake’s “Tyger”: Tyger. to me. An example occurs in the second act of Hamlet. in action how like an angel. not in matter. in Shakespeare’s tragedies. the true source of light. but a few venture outside where they finally look up to see the sun. The “answer” to the question “Which comes first. They can see only shadows cast by objects in the light of a fire within the cave. the prince’s mother rebukes him for continuing to wear black in mourning for his father: “Why seems it so particular with thee?” Hamlet casts his reply in terms of inner reality versus outer show: 33 . This movement from appearance to reality is based on a philosophy of idealism.APPEARANCE/REALITY aporia The Greek word for complexity. Plato’s views exerted a strong influence in the literature of the RENAISSANCE. In the first act of Hamlet. In DECONSTRUCTION the term describes the impasse. lies at the heart of any TEXT. thus rendering its meaning always indeterminate. the belief that ultimate reality resides in ideas. for example.

An early and important force in Arab-American literature is Ameen Rihani. adhere to the principle that the imagination shapes and defines reality. is an admirable summary of the terms.The most important early work of Arab-American literature is Kahil Gibran’s world-famous The Prophet (1923). I know not “seems. These indeed seem. a Lebanese-born scholar and diplomat. edited by Philip Wiener. began in the 1880s and continued into the 1920s. Some later Arab-American writers include the talented William Peter Blatty. In later periods the alternative view—that the sum of appearances is reality— begins to emerge in such works as the philosophy of Benedict de Spinoza and the poetry of William Wordsworth. but neither chose to examine the ethnic experience in their work.APRON STAGE Seems. . Arab-American literature The first wave of Arab-American immigration. For they are actions that a man might play. arrived after World War II and continues to the present day.” ’Tis not alone my inky cloak. which has been translated into 13 languages. who locates the principle of reality in the experience of nature. whose The Book of Khalid (1911). In America alone. John Yolton’s “Appearance and Reality” in The Dictionary of the History of Ideas (1968). Nor customary suits of solemn black.” See also “AS IF” FICTIONS. madam? Nay it is. apron stage A stage that is thrust out into the audience on three sides. The major breakthrough occurred with 34 . a meditative prose poem. a novel written in free verse records the struggles and triumphs in the immigrant experience. But I have that within which passes show These but the trappings and the suits of woe. . the reality of lived human experience. is the “denial of reality to the only reality left. about half of them Muslims. and Vance Bourjaily. author of The Exorcist. In the 20th century. notably Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Other Romantic poets. extolling love as the central fact of the human condition. One extreme reaction to this concept is the view of the ABSURD which. in the words of John Yolton. has sold over more than 4 million copies. such as Shakespeare’s GLOBE THEATRE. the doctrine of PHENOMENOLOGY asks that the question of “the real” be bracketed (set aside) in order to provide a precise description of experience. The second wave. The apron stage was a common feature of Elizabethan theaters. . this book. creating closer contact than is the case with a PROSCENIUM stage. largely Christians from Syria and Lebanon. good mother.

ed. Michel Foucault’s treatment of the archive is developed in his Archaeology of Knowledge (1972). H. Alpana Sharma Knippling. but her main character represents the best of both worlds. Arcadia is a mountainous region in Greece. a brief summary of the plot or subject matter of a narrative or play. which has been sealed until 2020. is an example of the archival nature of language in literary studies. pastoral prose-romance that exerted a strong influence on English Renaissance literature. who uses archive to denote the accumulated body of definitions that dominates a particular field of knowledge. the word AUTHOR. development. Recent notable novelists include Naomi Shihab Nye. D. and 35 .ARISTOTELIAN CRITICISM the publication of Grape Leaves (1982) an anthology of Arab-American poetry. One example is the T. such as the Argument preceding Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798). and Etel Adnan. which included work by three outstandingly talented poets. archive A place for storing documents or records. a work whose feminist perspective casts a cold eye on male dominance in both Arab and American societies. For Foucault. Aristotle defined literature as imitation (MIMESIS). The Eliot archive forms the background to Martha Cooley’s novel The Archivist (1998). The term takes on new meaning in the work of the theorist Michel Foucault. Evelyn Shakir’s “Arab-American Literature” surveys the subject in New Immigrant Literatures in the United States (1996). in literature. Arabian Jazz (1994). 1590) is an elaborate. manuscripts. Aristotelian criticism A type of criticism deriving from Aristotle’s Poetics. a Palestinian refugee who loves jazz. Samuel Hazo. the line of reasoning designed to demonstrate the truth or falsity of a particular position. Eliot archive at Princeton University. Sir Philip Sidney’s Arcadia (1587. Melhem. celebrated as a rustic setting in classical and Renaissance literature. and personal papers of important writers are stored in major libraries. Arcadia An idealized PASTORAL setting. creative individual (“the genius”). archetypal criticism See MYTH CRITICISM. probably the most influential analysis of literature ever recorded. gave an account of the origins. with its connotations of an autonomous. the cor- respondence. Equally talented is Diana Abu-Jabere. In literary studies. S. argument In RHETORIC.

notably in his novel Rock Wagram (1951) and in three plays. Winner of the National Book Award. Armenian-American literature Until the 11th century. Since then. These novels invoke primarily a patrilineal world. The best known of these works is Michael Arlen’s Passage to Ararat (1975). who ceded part of the country to Russia in the late 19th century. The most celebrated of Armenian-American authors. which recounts the author’s attempts to fix the identity of his father (who disguised his Armenian roots) and therefore of himself. and introduced the concept of CATHARSIS and the UNITIES. the worst of which occurred in 1915. An Armenian Trilogy. Alpana Sharma Knippling.000 Armenian Americans. Other major Armenian novels are Peter Sourian’s The Gate (1965) and Peter Najarian’s Voyages (1971). Arnold 36 . Aristotelian critical principles inform much of the thinking of the CHICAGO SCHOOL of modern criticism. written in the last years of his life. but he frequently returned to his ethnic roots. Divided between two warring empires (Russian and Ottoman) during World War I. Armenia was an independent nation in western Asia. Arnoldian criticism The critical writings of the l9th-century poet and critic Matthew Arnold. Two important surveys of Armenian-American literature are Margaret Bedrosian’s Magic in the Pine Ring (1991) and Khachig Tololyan’s “Armenian-American Literature” in New Immigrant Literatures in the United States (1996). the number of immigrants swelled to the point that there are now 750. 1974) and Peter Balakian (Reply FromWilderness Island. the Armenian diaspora brought 100. In these works Saroyan focuses on the theme of family and ethnic identity. Passage to Ararat describes Arlen’s trip to the genocide memorial in present-day Armenia and an imagined dialogue with his dead father.” in which 1 million Armenians were killed by Turkish rulers between 1890 and 1915. The contrasting feminine perspective is captured in Carol Edgarian’s Rise the Euphrates (1994). Armenia was continuously colonized by Ottoman Turks. both of which deal with the legacy of genocide. with whom he makes his peace.ARMENIAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE structure of drama. Saroyan writes extensively on non-Armenian subjects. is the playwright and novelist William Saroyan. In the wake of the genocide. distinguished between comedy and tragedy. 1988). The ghost that haunts Armenian-American literature is the “ethnic inheritance of genocide.000 immigrants to the United States. or subsequent criticism derived from Arnold. Among important contemporary Armenian-American poets are David Kherdian (The Nonny Poems. From that time. ed. Turkish Armenians were subject to genocidal massacres.

toned down the love interest to celebrate Arthur as a wise and just ruler. Sir Thomas Malory. It recounts the story of Arthur’s ascension to the throne after pulling the sword Excalibur from a stone. He was an early exponent of cultural criticism. art for art’s sake The argument that art should be autonomous and not com- pelled to serve a specific social or moral purpose. PHILISTINE. the legend became immortalized in the stories of the pursuit of the Holy Grail. in the field of contemporary CULTURAL STUDIES. his famous 37 . By the 12th century. SWEETNESS AND LIGHT. Arthurian legend The term for the large body of material relating to King Arthur and his court.” Malory’s version consists of eight romances that. 1155). make up the story as it has come down to later generations. and the promised return of the “once and future king. and the love affair of Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere. ars gratia artis. at which Arthur’s knights gathered. existing sometime in the sixth century A. in good English fashion.” Arnold’s definition has often been quoted and. placing the stories within the COURTLY LOVE tradition. and from there to the European continent. Geoffrey’s account portrayed Arthur’s court in Camelot as a model of the ideal knightly society. taken together. the death. The legendary figure appears to have originated in Celtic (either Irish or Welsh) folklore. contested for its apparent limitation of culture to “high” culture. Whether or not there was an actual. spreading to England. In the 15th century. Wace’s version introduced the motif of the Round Table. and the TOUCHSTONE principle.ARTHURIAN LEGEND introduced a number of terms that have enjoyed wide currency: HEBRAISM/ HELLENISM. art/nature See NATURE/ART. historical King Arthur. its shape ensuring that no one would have a privileged position over the others. the legend was sufficiently established for Geoffrey of Monmouth to include Arthur in his History of the Kings of Britain (1136) and to single him out as the greatest of these monarchs. seeing literature as “a criticism of life” and defining culture as “the best that has been thought and said.D. remains a subject of debate among historians. Geoffrey’s version of the legend was adapted by the Norman writer Wace in his Roman de Brut (c. The popularity of Chrétien’s innovations gave birth to a number of long verse romances that elaborated the legend further. In the hands of the TROUVÈRE poet Chrétien de Troyes. Malory’s Morte D’Arthur (edited and published in 1485 by the English printer William Caxton) details the reign. In its Latin form. the phrase has been used as a motto appearing at the beginning of all Metro Goldwyn Mayer films.. The phrase was used in 19thcentury France and England as a slogan of AESTHETICISM.

The first type is the ineffectual dreamer. artist/hero The portrait-of-the-artist novel is a species of literature that has been popular since the late 18th century. Charles Dickens departs from this tradition in David Copperfield (1849–50). The danger of such withdrawal is the theme of Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice (1910). in the words of the psychologist Carl Jung. the quest for the Grail. one who is both a human being and.” the artist is rendered as a detached observer who withdraws from life in order to capture it in the lens of his art. the artist may respond either by a passionate commitment to the experience of life. enjoyed enormous popularity. the publication of T. The 20th century’s most significant example of the genre is James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916). In the 20th century. The Romantics created two types of artist/hero. in which elemental forces long suppressed by the artist’s self-discipline erupt and bring about his death. Kennedy. presenting his novelist/hero as an unexceptional figure. ROMANTICISM. the second type is the passionate rebel. mocking both God and man. particularly among the PRE-RAPHAELITES. In the 19th century. Alfred. who carries the unconscious. the love affair of Lancelot and Guinevere. very colorful characters. or by insulating himself from life. the treachery of Arthur’s illegitimate son. White’s The Once and Future King (1958) brought the legend to a wide audience. and a central conception of. converting the experience into art. too refined for the tawdry reality of ordinary life. the “sensitive plant” and the BYRONIC HERO. Lord Tennyson’s retelling of the legend. Stephen Dedalus. A major theme of such fiction is the idea of the artist as a split self. Margaret Reid’s The Arthurian Legend (1970) is a chronological account of the various versions of the legend since 1485. a transparent window through which we view the novel’s other. The Idylls of the King (1859–85). whose flawed hero. Sir Mordred. such as “The Jolly Corner. a version of the legend that has become identified with the administration of John F. . and his final resting place on the island of Avalon.ARTIST/HERO victories. resulting in a revival of medievalism in art and literature. the feasts of the Knights of the Round Table. psychic life of mankind.” The artist/hero theme is rooted in. “one who allows art to idealize its purpose through him . becoming a “priest of art. . is as much pretender as artist until he encounters the warmth and humanity of Leopold 38 . H.” Pulled in two directions. In the stories of Henry James. White’s book was adapted by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe as the musical Camelot (1960). Arthur’s death. his court at Camelot. the sensitive Werther and the defiant Faust. Goethe’s artist-heroes include both types.

In a realistic drama the aside can be jarring since it breaks the illusion. See FAIRY TALES.“AS IF” FICTIONS Bloom in Ulysses (1922). Vaihinger’s theory helped to create an atmosphere in which the literature of MODERNISM. particularly light comedy. a comment by a character directed to the audience. Asian-American literature The increased immigration of people from all sections of Asia has resulted in a redefinition of this term. not intended to be heard by the other characters on stage. Indian. (See ETHNIC LITERATURE. reminding the audience that they are watching a play. As originally conceived (and reflected in the well-known 1974 collection AIIIEEEEE: An Anthology of Asian American Writers). it can help to draw the audience into the action and heighten its sense of participation. Pakistani Americans as well as authors from other areas of Southeast Asia. . “An idea whose theoretical untruth . Ogden. The use of the aside affects the role of the audience in the play. was published in 1924. Given the inherent limitations of the human intellect. It also opens the door to the validity of seeing MYTH as contributing to the well-being of society. in spite of its theoretical nullity may have great practical importance. . Japanese and Filipino Americans. could flourish. Henry James. Marcel Proust.” translated by C. “as if” fictions A philosophical principle affirming the usefulness of acting on the basis of an assertion known to be untrue. for such an idea. and James Joyce. Stephen’s creed.” While not directly influencing specific writers. Charles Glicksberg’s Modern Literary Perspectivism (1970) contains a description of Vaihinger’s principles. The English version of Vaihinger’s The Philosophy of “As If. formulated as the determination to “forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race”—to recreate one’s culture so that its moral essence will be made clear—stands as the paradigmatic statement of the function of the artist in the 20th century. In nonrealist drama. This idea. associated with the German philosopher Hans Vaihinger. operates on the assumption of the irrationality of life and the conclusion that human thought is not capable of comprehending reality. is admitted is not for that reason practically valueless and useless. Maurice Beebe’s Ivory Towers and Sacred Founts (1964) provides a history of the theme with chapters on Honoré de Balzac. Nevertheless.) aside In drama. with its emphasis on the validity of subjective experience. 39 . Vaihinger endorses the validity of ideas he calls fictions. Since then it has been broadened to include Korean. R. the term referred only to Chinese.

while inside Macready was performing Macbeth. the soldiers were given orders to open fire. Buntline and Tammany Hall politicians organized a demonstration to take place at the “aristocratic” Astor Place opera house recently constructed in a neighborhood made fashionable by the presence of John Jacob Astor’s residence nearby. C. Judson. The results: approximately 22 killed and over 100 people wounded. but what really fueled the fire was the opportunity it offered certain local politicians who used the quarrel to solidify the power of the Nativist Party. Richard Moody’s The Astor Place Riot (1958) offers a meticulously detailed account of the event. Astor Place riot An outbreak at the Astor Place Opera House in New York in 1849. Macready in disguise had to escape the theater and. The incident has formed the basis of Richard Nelson’s drama Two Shakespearean Actors (1990) and played a major role in the theatrical superstition that Macbeth is an unlucky play. Forrest was the first native born American actor to qualify as a star in the 19th-century sense of the term. the American Edwin Forrest and the English William Charles Macready. better known then. as Ned Buntline. later that evening. was the very model of a British gentleman: careful and cerebral. one of the originators of the DIME NOVEL and the creator of the legend of Buffalo Bill. Forrest received a slight which he attributed to Macready. During a performance on tour in England. he arrived in NewYork to complete his tour. In May 1849. Macready. the New York State Militia was called out. They claimed that Macready was a symbol of English arrogance and snobbery. which requires them to part. In the ensuing chaos. and now. on the other hand. some 10. In an attempt to control the mob.. the city. Examples: kite-bike.000 to 15. the fuse was lit.000 people massed in front of the theater. atmosphere See MOOD. The riot was the violent outcome of a rivalry between two leading Shakespearean actors of the time. rate-cake. The form achieved great popularity in medieval France 40 . The Nativists—later to emerge as the Know Nothing Movement—seized upon the feud to make it an “American” issue. One of the ringleaders in this effort was E. but not the consonants. Z.S. The popular penny press made the most of the quarrel between the two. aubade A poem in which lovers complain of the appearance of dawn. On the evening of May 10. when Macready returned for his third tour of the U.ASSONANCE assonance A form of RHYME in which the vowels rhyme. As a result.

1. In each case the role of the audience differs: At a play. 1740–42.D. which may alter to some degree their performance. ASTOR PLACE RIOT.” based upon his reading of earlier writers “who were fictionalizing in their imagination audiences they had learned. 41 . Major practitioners of the newly developed genre included Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe. “audience” is often used as a synonym for “reader.) In writing about literature. Moll Flanders. 1742. Augustan age The term refers to two periods of literary history. Ong’s essay. (See ABBEY THEATRE. or lack thereof. Ian Jack’s Augustan Satire (1952) focuses on the satiric production of the period. Ovid. Joseph Addison. the NOVEL. Michael McKeon’s The Origins of the English Novel. 1722). and Henry Fielding (Joseph Andrews. 14). Clarissa. or television show.” One celebrated example is Walter J. ed. as represented by the poetry of Virgil. and Horace. 1600–1740 (1987) explores the development of the novel with particular attention to the social and cultural contexts. “The Writer’s Audience is Always a Fiction. the audience’s responses. They promoted the writings of Alexander Pope.” in which he maintains that an experienced writer is able “to fictionalize in his imagination an audience. Samuel Richardson (Pamela.” Walter Ong’s essay is reprinted in An Ong Reader. Thomas Farrell and Paul Soulcup (2002).–A.C. filmgoers frequently respond more to the visual effects than to the story. 1747–48). The reign of the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus (27 B. audience The spectators at a play. Theatrical history records a number of incidents in which the audience’s reaction resulted in a riot. Tom Jones. are immediately communicated to the actors. while television viewers can exercise the option of switching to another channel. Jonathan Swift. and Richard Steele not only for their intrinsic merits but also as models of “correct” literature as defined by the doctrines of NEOCLASSICISM. In this period Latin literature was in its so-called Golden Age. The period also saw the development of a distinctly nonneoclassical form. John Butt’s The Augustan Age (1956) captures the spirit of the era. 1719.AUGUSTAN AGE and was employed by Chaucer in Troilus and Criseyde and by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet. film. 1749). which radically qualifies their commitment to a WILLING SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF. Writers in England in the first half of the 18th century invoked a parallel with Rome to describe the literature of their period. 2.

Andrew Sarris’s The American Cinema: Directors and Directions 1929–1968 (1968) fully develops his auteurist theory. More specifically the term describes a director who has developed an identifiable style and a consistent set of themes in his or her work. As the world grew more complex in the Renaissance. categorizing this thinking as an example of the INTENTIONAL FALLACY. In this climate “author” came to be associated with a creative person honored less as an authority than as an example of individual creativity and freedom. Defining the author as the “creator” of a work implied that its meaning derived from its creator. In the mid-20th century the NEW CRITICISM launched an attack on this conception. “auctores” were those figures. who were the fundamental “authorities” on their subjects. another. that in seeking to arrive at a meaning readers should attempt to recapture the author’s intention. The dominant film theory of the ’60s and ’70s. In the middle ages. until then regarded as entertaining but not “serious” filmmakers.” Theorists see the term as intimately related to authority. two schools with pronounced antipathy to any emphasis on individual authorship. for many years the film critic of The Village Voice. They argued that the notion of the author as an autono42 . respect for “authority” weakened in favor of valuing individual initiative. Like many other literary terms in recent years the “idea of the author” has been the subject of an increasingly rigorous analysis. But an even more radical challenge was raised by the partisans of POSTSTRUCTURALISM. The term originally was employed by NEW WAVE film critics of the 1950s. auteurism more recently has had to withstand the challenges of SEMIOTICS and POSTSTRUCTURALISM. One example might be the development in Protestantism of the emphasis on individual interpretation of the Bible. The best known American auteurist critic is Andrew Sarris. the notion of authority clung to the term. In one respect. who applied it to Howard Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock. such as Aristotle. which is to say—in the language of contemporary THEORY—“author” has been “theorized. a central issue of the REFORMATION. The re-estimation of Hawks and Hitchcock as auteurs spearheaded the movement to view popular film directors and their films as suitable subjects of criticism. author A term traditionally used to describe the person who originates a piece of writing. however. the emphasis in CAPITALISM on the individual entrepreneur as opposed to the collective economy of feudalism.AUTEUR auteur A term used in film criticism expressing the idea that the “author” of a film—the individual who exercises personal control in the making of a film—is the director.

who defined the author as a function of the relations between the reader and the text.” Barthes argued that reference to the author as the originating point of a text maintains the illusion of determinate meaning as opposed to the reality of INDETERMINACY. Autobiographical writing embraces a number of forms including MEMOIRS. Roland Barthes’s “The Death of the Author” is included in his Image. the “owner” of a piece of writing. DIARIES. is not merely an historical fact. in the capitalist tradition. Behind the revolutionary rhetoric of Barthes and Foucault lies a call for unlimited openness in the interpretation of texts.” Barthes’s position was modified in turn by Michel Foucault. but the form proper usually involves the interaction of character and external event over a substantial span of a person’s life. Michel Foucault’s “What Is an Author?” is reprinted in The Foucault Reader (1984). and LETTERS. For a critique of their positions and an historical account of the term. see IMPLIED AUTHOR/READER.” depicted a world from which order and meaning had fled. in announcing “the death of God. Roland Barthes rendered this position dramatically in his celebrated essay “The Death of the Author. autobiography The story of a person’s life written by him. 43 . it utterly transforms the modern text. . edited by Frank Lentricchia and Thomas McLaughlin (1990). Just as the 19th-century philosopher Nietzsche had. a text’s unity lies not in its origin but in its destination. individual creator should give way to a less powerful conception: the author as a culturally conditioned “subject” who participates in the production of a text but is merely one among many who contribute to its multiple meanings. In its place is the writer-as-subject. a creature of cultural institutions and the practice of DISCOURSE.AUTOBIOGRAPHY mous.or herself. Text (1977). Foucault appears to agree with Barthes in calling for an end to the “author” conceived of as an individual who is the origin and. . Music. the principle that there is no such thing as a “correct” interpretation of a literary text. a resistance to any kind of critical CLOSURE.” The negation of the author results in the increased significance of the reader who is the “destination” of the text: “The reader is the space on which all the quotations that make up a writing are inscribed without any of them being lost. For another approach to the question of authorship. see Donald Pease’s “Author” in Critical Terms for Literary Study. so Barthes wished to remove the text’s creator: “The removal of the Author . Their attack on the traditional conception of the author is a specific example of the general program of POSTSTRUCTURALISM with its critique of individual identity and its insistence on the instability of meaning.

auto sacramental (sacramental play) A type of drama performed in Spain on the feast of Corpus Christi from the 16th through the 18th centuries. The auto. allegorical. celebrated on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. who wrote more than 70 of these plays in his lifetime.D. In the United States. Corpus Christi (body of Christ) is a Roman Catholic feast honoring the sacrament of the Eucharist. are outstanding. Alexander Parker’s The Allegorical Drama of Calderón:An Introduction to the Autos Sacramentales (1943) provides a history of the genre. The 20th century has seen a proliferation of autobiographies of the “tell all” variety by celebrities of every type. and Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography (1771. In the 19th century Cardinal Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1864). written in the third person. a model of clear. undoubtedly the most significant autobiography of the post-war period has been The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965). the action concluded with the manifestation of a Communion host and chalice. a passionate and intellectually powerful account of his life. a one-act drama. A. or historical characters. Among more serious examples of the form are Sean O’Casey’s. with its classic account of a youthful emotional breakdown. The aim of many of the autos was to draw analogies between secular stories of love and adventure and the divine mystery of the Eucharist. featured mythic. 1784–85. paradoxically candid and self-justifying. Its greatest practitioner was Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600–81). written by Alex Haley and based upon taped interviews with the American civil rights leader. Roy Pascal’s Design and Truth in Autobiography (1960) and John Pilling’s Autobiography and Imagination (1981) are recent studies of the form. and Simone de Beauvoir’s five-volume account of her life. Outstanding 18th-century examples of the form include Jean Jacques Rousseau’s Confessions (1766–70). and John Stuart Mill’s Autobiography (1873). which is 60 days after Easter Sunday. avant-garde A French term originally used to describe the vanguard of an army. 1788). Among the notable autobiographies of the Renaissance were Benvenuto Cellini’s colorful story of his life and times. one of the century’s finest examples of English prose. culminating in his conversion to Christianity. 400).AUTO SACRAMENTAL The model of future autobiographies is the Confessions of Saint Augustine (c. unpretentious prose. and Saint Theresa of Avila’s intense and moving rendering of a life devoted to God. adapted to art and literature to describe various movements in the 19th and 20th centuries that called for experimentation and repudiated the established 44 .

Often an avant-garde’s criticism of prevailing forms of literature extends to a criticism of society as a whole—as.AVANT-GARDE conventions of their times. in the 20th century. In the 19th century. the BEAT movement’s objections to American culture in the 1950s. for example. language poetry (See LANGUAGE POETS). the Romantics and later the SYMBOLIST poets were avant-garde. more recently. establishing new frontiers of thought and expression. the avant-garde has included the proponents of IMAGISM. The term implies that true artists are ahead of their times. 45 . PROJECTIVISM and.

in direct and unsparing language. bad faith In the EXISTENTIALISM of Jean-Paul Sartre. or with political and military subjects. based on Shakespeare’s early draft of the play. the act of self-deception in which one evades an authentic or self-defining choice by remaining unaware that such a choice exists. The common assumption is that the bad quartos represent the “stolen and surreptitious copies. The majority of folk ballads deal with themes of romantic passion. which is now accepted as a legitimate text. the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays. See DETERMINISM. arranged in quatrains with the second and fourth lines rhyming. love affairs that end unhappily.” appears in Bad Shakespeare. bad quarto Term applied to certain early editions of Shakespeare’s plays that exhibit various forms of corruption. mother. the 1608 edition of King Lear.” referred to in the Preface to the FIRST FOLIO. An example is the final stanza to the Scots ballad “Bonny Barbara Allen”: O mother.ååå b å Baconian theory See ANTI-STRATFORDIAN THEORIES. ballad Originally a song associated with dance. Some textual scholars have effectively refuted this view in relation to at least one of the so-called bad quartos. insertions. make my bed! O make it saft and narrow! Since my love died for me today I’ll die for him to-morrow. including omissions. the ballad developed into a form of folk verse narrative. Maurice Charney (1988). 46 . ed. and garbled passages. The story usually is in dialogue form. or by depicting oneself as determined by external forces. Steven Urkowitz’s “Good News about Bad Quartos.

signaled by the publication of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads in 1798. living within an evil system. a dull. Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (1963) is a controversial account of the Eichmann trial. is an oral medium whose messages are not the product of an individual author. The ballad form was imitated by Romantic poets. Television. have argued that the role of the ancient bard in modern society has been assumed by television. He was “banal” (in the sense of “commonplace”) because he lived his life automatically. like the bard. 47 . His evil was not the result of some profound pathological mystery. T. Arendt argued that. In modern times the term functions as a synonym for any poet.” Fiske and Hartley’s analysis appears in Reading Television (1978). but of the fact that he was a man who. banal bureaucrat. far from being an inhuman monster. F. the publication of Bishop Thomas Percy’s Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765) created a vogue both in England and Germany for folk verse. banality of evil A phrase from the subtitle of a book by Hannah Arendt describing the war crimes trial of Adolph Eichmann. never examined his life. Is Iago a Satanic figure whose “motiveless malignity” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s phrase) is an index of his diabolic nature? Or is he an unscrupulous but rather ordinary man who is merely the stage manager of Othello’s own self destruction? As these two examples from life and literature demonstrate. Stanley E. unimaginative. John Fiske and John Hartley. Two analysts of POPULAR CULTURE. In the 18th century. but instead form the mythology of the culture “which delivers to the members of that culture a confirming. A literary parallel is evident in the conflicting interpretations of the character of Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello. Hyman’s Iago: Some Approaches to the Illusion of His Motivation (1970) offers a full discussion of the character from a variety of perspectives. reprinted 1966) provides a history of the British folk ballad. often with particular reference to Shakespeare. the man responsible for the transportation of Jews from all over Europe to the Nazi death camps. bard Among ancient Celtic tribes the bard played an important role as the preserver and recounter of cultural lore.BARD Ballads were popular throughout medieval Europe. Eichmann was all too human. reinforcing version of themselves. the issue touches on a fundamental question: the nature of EVIL. Henderson’s The Ballad in Literature (1912.

Originally the subject of juvenile fiction. architecture. baroque In art. The enthusiasm of some so exceeded the norms of admiration that Shakespeare became. More significant in art and music than in literature. 1987). O never could be found garments too good For thee to wear. In English literature. Naked and Bloody They have left thee naked. and increasingly in Japan. In the literature of the late 18th century there developed a sense of the greatness of Shakespeare’s work that viewed him as the precursor of ROMANTICISM. baroque elements are present in the elaborate conceits of metaphysical poetry. baseball has emerged since the 1950s as an important literary theme in American literature. ritual. but these. Lord. music. a highly ornamental style that flourished in 17th-century Europe. baseball The growth of sports as a social and cultural force—propelled by increased leisure time and the pervasive presence of television—has produced a world that has become increasingly “soccer-crazed. On Our Crucified Lord.” But in the United States. Opening the purple wardrobe of thy side. Its literary appeal lies in its rich store of myth. Typical of Crashaw’s baroque sensibility is this poem in which the crucified Christ’s blood is conceived of as a garment. One earlier exception is Ring Lardner’s satirical short pieces collected under the title You Know 48 . when the imagination is most impressionable. exemplified by the fine novels of John R. see Wylie Sypher’s Four Stages of Renaissance Style: 1400–1700 (1955). echoing Romeo and Juliet. Tunis (The Kid from Tomkinsville. particularly the poetry of Richard Crashaw. of thy own blood. and literature. “the God of our idolatry. Thee with thyself they have too richly clad. 1940.BARDOLATRY bardolatry A term used to describe an excessive devotion to Shakespeare. most of which is absorbed by Americans in their early years.” An example of a bardolater in 20th-century literature is the figure of James Tyrone in Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night (1940). O that they had! This garment too.. rep’t. in the words of the great actor David Garrick. I would they had denied. the sport that most writers are attracted to is baseball. and history. For a wide-ranging study of the term. the baroque style is associated with the Italian poet Giambattista Marino (see MARINISM) and the Spanish poet Luis de Gongora (see GONGORISM).

whose distinctive and exciting form of play is celebrated in William Brashler’s The Bingo Long Traveling All-stars and Motor Kings (1973). a period in 49 . HenryWaugh. basic writing In COMPOSITION STUDIES. A powerful novel touching on the sport is William Kennedy’s Ironweed (1983). intelligent treatments of the game with The Southpaw (1953) and Bang the Drum Slowly (1956). Jackie Robinson’s heroic breakthrough as the first black player in the major leagues forms the subject of Eliot Asinof’s Man on Spikes (1998) and plays a significant role in Pete Hamill’s Snow in August (1997). not least from the distinguished poet Marianne Moore. Among these are two that deal with the famous Black Sox gambling scandal of 1919. while the game itself is juxtaposed with the fact that on the same day. The ’70s and ’80s saw an explosion of adult baseball fiction. Mark Harris produced insightful. Thus October 3. thus suggesting the symbolic possibilities inherent in the “great American pastime.BASIC WRITING Me. J. in which more than 30 novels dealing with the subject appeared. Meanwhile in a traditional realistic vein. The prologue has been so highly regarded that it has recently been published as a separate book. An outstanding example of integrating baseball within the general frame of a wide-ranging social and philosophical novel is the 60 page prologue to Don DeLillo’s Underworld (1997). Prop. provided the occasion for “two shots heard round the world. the story of a professional ball player. but the first serious adult novel is Bernard Malamud’s The Natural (1952). resulting in the formation of the Negro League. W. 1953. the home run ball assumes iconic status. In the 1970s. haunted by the memory of a tragic accident.” Another significant theme in baseball history relates to the discriminatory practice in which black players were prevented from participating in the major leagues. a novel keyed to the career of the great pitcher Christy Mathewson. October 3. the Soviet Union detonated a hydrogen bomb. 1951. Throughout the rest of the novel. P. It places within a fictional context what many consider the greatest game ever: the 1951 pennant winning victory of the New York Giants over the Brooklyn Dodgers in the last half of the ninth inning on a home run by Bobby Thomson. Malamud took the traditional story of the young rookie who becomes a star and transformed it into the mythic mode of MAGIC REALISM. Pafko at theWall (1997). Baseball has also inspired some excellent poetry. Al (1916). (1968) and Philip Roth added his parodical view in The Great American Novel (1973). Robert Coover explored the “baseball as the world” metaphor in The Universal Baseball Association. who was a dedicated Brooklyn Dodgers fan. which concludes with the 1919 debacle. Kinsella’s Shoeless Joe (1982) and Eric Rolfe Greenberg’s The Celebrant (1981).” Following Malamud’s lead. a term used to describe the writing of students with little or no experience in writing an essay.

” The word also suggests the “beat” of JAZZ. the beats celebrated individual freedom. The most prominent members of the group were the poet Allen Ginsberg and the novelist Jack Kerouac. depicts a world of dropouts from conventional society bonding to form a new. as opposed to beginning writing. 1958) and Gregory Corso (Gasoline. despite being high school graduates. 1958) and the novelist 50 . and the free use of drugs. Centered in New York and San Francisco. favored the ancients. beat Term for a group of American writers who came into prominence during the 1950s and offered a radical critique of middle class American values. Other major beat writers included the poets Lawrence Ferlinghetti (A Coney Island of the Mind. The strict NEOCLASSICAL position maintained for many years in French literature. “Beat” has been variously defined as an abbreviated form of “beaten down” or of “beatific. In the ensuing years this focus has been lost with the result that basic writing has been closely identified with remediation. an America rooted in its individualistic. Battle of the books A reference to debates that raged in England and France in the late 17th and early 18th centuries over the relative merits of ancient and modern writers. complacency. Kerouac’s On The Road (1957). the term was originally applied to the writing of students who were essentially beginning writers. inadvertently producing laughter or ridicule. any more than students taking a beginning class in German were bad speakers of German —they were beginners. So too did Jonathan Swift. they attacked the conformity. whose Battle of the Books (1697) satirized the modernist position.” Beat poets popularized the practice of reading poetry in cafes and jazz clubs. Zen Buddhism. starving hysterical naked”) became the most popular poem of its time. westward-looking past.BATHOS which college open admissions programs admitted students who would not ordinarily have qualified. Ginsberg’s 1956 poem Howl (its celebrated opening line: “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness. bathos A term used to describe a writer’s failure to elicit a strong emotion. The term was designed to locate the problem in the educational system rather than in the writers themselves. along with the implication that basic writing is inferior. and commercialism of the “tranquilized fifties. whose improvisation and free association were mimicked in beat writing. the point being they were not bad writers. mystical community. famously written on a continuous roll of teletype paper. Mina Shaughnessy’s Errors and Expectations (1973) is the foundational text in the field.

an example of the latter type. Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes (1997) is an example of the first type. in the words of Robert Alter and Frank Kermode. The loss of that intense biblical awareness in modern society has created a significant culture gap dividing us from our ancestors. John Milton. by every member of the family. such as EPIC THEATRE and the ALIENATION EFFECT.D. THE William Burroughs (Naked Lunch. Brecht readily accepted the invitation of the postwar East German government to set up a repertory company that would produce Brecht’s own plays. The stories were adapted in medieval monasteries in the form of beautifully illustrated books. later translated into Latin. “probably the most important single source of all our literature. it was often the only book in the house. As a literary source. In its adjectival form (belletristic) it carries a pejorative connotation. best seller A book sold in large numbers either at the time of publication or over a long period of time. and William Blake. read or listened to. Bible. the revealed word of God for millions of Jews and Christians. the Bible is. Berliner Ensemble Theatrical company established in East Berlin in 1949 by the playwright Bertolt Brecht. songs and poems intimately. bestiary A form of medieval literature in which the actions and/or characteristics of animals provided the basis for moral and religious homilies. the Bible no longer informs modern literature as it did the works of Edmund Spenser. suggesting writing in which formal elegance far outweighs substance. It also offered Brecht the opportunity to implement his theoretical conceptions. A committed communist. but its “hidden” 51 . 1962). Gregory Stephenson’s The Daybreak Boys: Essays on the Literature of the Beat Generation (1990) contains a collection of critical essays on the major beat writers.). specifically in the hippie and student movements of the 1960s.” Past generations of readers knew its language and stories.BIBLE. The Bible. the all-time best seller. belles lettres (fine letters) A term used to describe either impressionistic or highly cultivated writing or simply as a synonym for literature in general. The full impact of the beat movement was to be seen less in literature than in the general culture. the In addition to its status as a sacred text. The form originated in a Greek collection the Physiologus (second century A. On the American frontier in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The decline in the literal acceptance of the Bible left the door open for the literary response. James Joyce’s Ulysses. In an exemplary modern text. whose The Great Code (1980) and Words With Power 52 .” This is particularly true in the practice of FIGURAL INTERPRETATION. THE presence at a structural level is still pervasive.BIBLE. which itself is not a unified text but in Robert Alter’s words. the Old Testament should be more properly designated as the Hebrew Bible. and Northrop Frye. seriously undermined efforts to read the text as literal truths. with its hero Leopold Bloom. But on the scholarly level the literary approach is not free of religious factionalism.” For the New Testament. as opposed to literary. in which events and persons in the Old Testament are seen as prototypes of New Testament figures. Even here. By the 19th century. and basing their translations on the original Hebrew and Greek as opposed to the Catholic tradition of using the Latin VULGATE version as the standard. The result from a literary point of view is to experience the story from four different vantage points. as “a fundamental allusive matrix for Joyce’s novel .” Moreover. the Bible operates. For many Jews. . The principal contention relates to the traditional division of the Bible into the Old and New Testaments. such an obstacle can be viewed by readers as an invitation to PERSPECTIVISM. Determined to free themselves from the perceived tyranny of the Catholic tradition. For an increasing number of mainly Jewish scholars. however. intensified even further when scientific discoveries. this philological approach had evolved into the HIGHER CRITICISM. there is a growing interest in reading the Bible as literature (see “LEFT BEHIND” NOVELS). whose pathbreaking Mimesis (1953) demonstrated the critical roles played by the Bible in the development of REALISM in Western literature. . this designation implies not only a specious unity. interpretation was a central issue of the 16th-century Protestant REFORMATION. as Robert Alter points out. Even among those who continue to adhere to literal renderings. the reformers adopted a philological approach. “a loose anthology that reflects as much as nine centuries of Hebrew literary activity. Doctrinal. Most prominent of those who adhere to a unified view of the entire Bible have been Erich Auerbach. the chief obstacle to a historical or literary understanding is the relation among the SYNOPTIC GOSPELS. notably DARWINISM. reading the texts. but a subordination of the “Old” to the “New. recent years have seen a growing appreciation of the power and the beauty of the Bible. clinging to a sincere if muddled vision of love and harmlessness in a world of old hatreds and stubborn strife. not just as a powerful source but as a text in itself. the new messiah himself. introducing a more skeptical atmosphere in biblical studies.

for example. As analyzed by the structuralist anthropologist Claude LéviStrauss. raw/cooked. ed. a period. a basic linguistic principle in which each of two opposing terms implies the other: presence/absence. In still another sense of the term. The New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (1969–77) is a five-volume bibliography of writings on British literature from the Old English period to the present day. particularly its myths. There are even bibliographies of bibliographies. bildungsroman (education novel) A German term for a type of novel that focuses on the development of a character moving from childhood to maturity. as. American Literary Scholarship: An Annual (1963– ) is a yearly bibliography that includes evaluations of the works listed. For example. Robert Alter and Frank Kermode (1987) is an admirable attempt to represent the full range and detail of contemporary biblical literary criticism. 53 . James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as aYoung Man (1916). William Schniederwind’s How the Bible Became a Book (2004) looks at the oral origins of the biblical stories. bibliography acts as a synonym for TEXTUAL CRITICISM.BINARY OPPOSITION (1990) argue that the Bible is written in the language of myth and metaphor. a list of books and articles appended to a work implying that the author has consulted most or all of these works. a type of scholarship focusing on the physical features of manuscripts and books that may yield important insights into a literary work. Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield (1849–50). and that its basic structures are mirrored in all of Western literature. bibliography Most commonly. and Günter Grass’s The Tin Drum (1959). The Literary Guide to the Bible. male/female. Prominent examples include Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774). Another use of the term describes a full-length book devoted to a subject. Black Access: A Bibliography of Afro-American Bibliographies (1984). the form usually charts a movement from innocence to knowledge. these basic contrasts underlie a society’s cultural expressions. binary opposition In STRUCTURALISM. scholars have been able to reconstruct the actual practices used in the printing of Shakespeare’s FIRST FOLIO in 1623. Robert Alter’s Canon and Creativity (2000) contains an excellent account of Joyce’s use of the Bible. Sometimes known as a COMING OF AGE novel. As a result. or an author. we have a much firmer understanding of the extent to which the printed texts of the plays accurately reflect what Shakespeare wrote.

For example. recent work displays a more sophisticated grasp of the principles of PSYCHOANALYTICAL CRITICISM. a study of the comparable careers of Greek and Roman statesmen. An early example of the form is Plutarch’s Parallel Lives. written by More’s son-in-law. the second term has traditionally associated with the feminine. binary opposites invariably reveal the assumption of the superiority of one term over the other with profound social and intellectual consequences. the GLOBE THEATRE. One of the earliest examples in English is The Life of Sir Thomas More (1560). Although many early attempts to apply a Freudian perspective to the lives of their subjects have dated badly. the assumed superiority of men to women plays a basic role in the cultural life of the society. as in John Lydgate’s Fall of Princes (1420). as in the fact that. the King’s Men (see CHAMBERLAIN’S/KING’S MEN) with an indoors winter home to complement their public theater. This company was suppressed in 1608. Boswell’s example influenced the development of literary biography in the 19th century. and David Riggs’s Ben Jonson: A Life (1989). Some of these consequences have been explored in FEMINIST CRITICISM. whose Eminent Victorians (1918) introduced an ironic and irreverent tone to the form. Twentieth-century biography has also employed psychoanalytical insights in attempting to understand the subject. William Roper. a member of the BLOOMSBURY GROUP. In the early 20th century. 54 . Among distinguished modern literary biographies are Leon Edel’s five-volume biography of Henry James (1953–72). Writing for a more select audience. thus providing Shakespeare’s company. Leon Edel’s Literary Biography (1957) offers a meditation on the topic by a leading practitioner. The 18th century saw the production of what is probably the greatest biography in English. The RENAISSANCE emphasis on the individual found expression in the recording of particular lives. biography consisted only of hagiography (the lives of saints) or of moralized accounts of royalty. in all patriarchal cultures.BIOGRAPHY According to poststructuralist theorists (see POSTSTRUCTURALISM). this attitude was radically overturned by Lytton Strachey. Blackfriars Theatre A former Dominican monastery in London that became the headquarters of a company of child actors in 1576. In the middle ages. Richard Ellmann’s James Joyce (1959). James Boswell’s The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791). with attention not only to the events but to the character and personality of the subject. biography The written history of someone’s life. which was generally uncritical about its subjects. in oppositions such as active/passive or subject/object.

hair. cheeks. Among its members were the economist John Maynard Keynes. Cymbeline. in which the accent falls on the even numbered syllables. the Blackfriars was closed by order of Parliament in 1642. it has become the standard form for English drama in verse. The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest. they placed a high value on aesthetics. the novelist E. Although the group endorsed no official doctrine. unrhymed lines of about 10 syllables. why then her breasts are dun If hairs be wires. in which the poet praises the beauty of his beloved. and the philosopher Bertrand Russell.” But Shakespeare’s more realistic approach is reflected in Rodgers and Hart’s “My Funny Valentine. the tradition soldiered on.” Bloomsbury group A circle of English writers. detailing her specific features: eyes. and philosophers with a shared set of values who frequently socialized at the homes of the novelist Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell. achieving prominence in the 1920s. the biographer Lytton Strachey. blank verse The term for verse written in unrhymed iambic pentameter. the cultivation of taste. black wires grow on her head Despite Shakespeare. In 1653. the vacant theater received a tribute from the writer Richard Flecknoe: Poor house that in days of our grandsires Belongst unto the mendiant friars And where so oft in our father’s days We have seen so many Shakspears plays. The group flourished from 1906 to the 1930s. notably in Lord Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty like the Night. M. blazon A lyric poem. Shakespeare defied this tradition and the clichés it invoked by describing his loved one in less idolatrous terms: My mistress eyes are nothing like the sun Coral is far more red than her lips red If snow be white. typically a SONNET. Many of these attitudes reflected the ethical teaching 55 . Black Mountain Poets See PROJECTIVISM. Forster. and the importance of friendships. unconventional sexual attitudes. artists.BLOOMSBURY GROUP Shakespeare employed a new type of drama—the romances. Since its introduction into English poetry in the 16th century. and usually her “fair” complexion. located in the Bloomsbury section of London. Along with all the other theaters in London.

is Shakespeare’s Falstaff. Some critics have argued that the body occupies the central place in at least one literary genre. Operating from a different stance. while the soul has been seen as “immortal. edited by Elaine Scarry. Insofar as the great humanist ideal of Western literature has been the human spirit. the body—chiefly. Leon Edel’s Bloomsbury: A House of Lions (1979) recaptures the spirit of the group. They are emblems of the characters’ frailty. who held that personal friendship and rich aesthetic experience were among the highest aims in life. comedy celebrates the corporeal. the club foot of Oedipus. the figure who “embodies” the idea of comedy. is a collection of essays exploring the subject from a feminist perspective. in which the emphasis on the spiritual would appear to be completely dominant.BODY. Even in the Christian era. comedy. the body occupies a central place in literature. Falstaff’s body moves from health to disease. They argue that. and the wound of Philoctetes play critical roles in their stories. primarily in film and the visual arts. much of that literature appears to suppress or denigrate the body. signaling his ultimate rejection by his friend Prince Hal. 56 .” as John’s Gospel puts it—and the fact that Christ’s flesh and blood serves as the substance of the Eucharist.” Literature and the Body (1988). perhaps because the body is identified with mortality. feminists have taken a close look at the rendering of the woman’s body in literature and the arts. the main tradition has regarded the body as the “prison house” of the soul. a culture that sees the woman as the object of the male gaze. suggests a connection between the divine and the corporal. the heel of Achilles. the physical being. but also keys to their identity. the Incarnation of Christ—“The Word made flesh. They maintain that while tragedy speaks to the human spirit. Peter Brooks’s Body Work (1993) is a study of “the body as an object and motive of narrative writing. body. a mark on the body—is closely related to identity: the scar of Odysseus. though often approached indirectly. reproduction by means of sexuality. In the two Henry IV plays. Operating on the thesis that the female body has been “constructed” by a patriarchal culture.” Nevertheless. the next best thing. the traditional representation of the female body leaves the viewer in a privileged. Moore. a group of French feminists have seen a close relationship between the body and WOMEN’S WRITING (écriture feminine). the In literature the human body has been a primary subject. THE of the Cambridge philosopher G. Recently the concept of the body has assumed a central place in FEMINIST CRITICISM. A prime example. however. driven by the instinct for survival or. From Plato on. In classical literature. as he assumes the crown. E. but also in literature. dominant position.

Until the introduction to Europe of the printing press. Folded over once. 1818). creating enormous changes in society (see ORALITY/LITERACY).” The term bowdlerization now commonly refers to instances of editorial squeamishness. The term derives from Sir Thomas Bowdler. bourgeois In a strict sense. it is a quarto of four leaves. all books were manuscripts. or eight pages. Bombast usually denotes a boasting character such as the BRAGGART WARRIOR figure of classical and Renaissance comedy. Shakespeare’s Falstaff is a type of braggart warrior. bowdlerize To edit out material deemed salacious or offensive. Boulevard theaters A group of theaters on the Boulevard du Temple in Paris in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. the actual size of a book depends upon the size of the original sheet. but is usually shown to be a coward. folded three times it is an octavo of eight leaves.BRAGGART WARRIOR bombast Inflated or exaggerated language. a STOCK CHARACTER who boasts of his military valor. it becomes a folio of two leaves. a satiric comedy about a relentless social climber. Of course. but those words and expressions are omitted which cannot with propriety be read in a family. Its pre-Marxist sense is reflected in the title of Molière’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (The Would-be Gentleman 1670). or sixteen pages. who published an edition of Shakespeare’s plays (The Family Shakespeare. or four pages. printed on both sides. as is Captain Boyle in Sean O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock (1924). Among these are the terms for the approximate size of the book: A leaf is a single sheet. book Usually a written or printed bound volume. The regular appearance of the printed book in the 16th century ushered in widespread literacy in succeeding centuries. braggart warrior (miles gloriosus) In classical comedy. folded twice. 57 . particularly in the field of TEXTUAL CRITICISM. In Marxist terminology it takes on an even more disparaging definition. referring to the oppressive capitalist class and its ideology. The technical production of books involves the use of a number of terms that are employed in literary studies. Bowdler’s intention was to offer a text “in which nothing is added to the original. The 1944 French film The Children of Paradise (Les Enfants du Paradis) is a celebrated tribute to these theaters. an adjective meaning “middle class” but frequently used disparagingly to suggest a person or attitude that is conventional or unimaginative.

employing large dolls that require three people to manipulate each one. these writers did not associate with one another but shared the same setting in their works. Unlike the Frank Sinatra–led “rat pack. Edith Roelker Curtis’s A Season in Utopia (1961) is a history of Brook Farm. the fast track world of discos. about the leader of the 1944 attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. some critics argue that bricoleur is a more accurate description of a writer than AUTHOR. George Ripley was the leader of the community.BRAT PACK brat pack Name given to a group of young writers who enjoyed brief fame in the 1980s. Brook Farm was disbanded in 1846 after a fire destroyed its main building. Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero. bucolic verse See PASTORAL. See INTERTEXTUALITY. frequently deal with tragic subjects. together with newly emerging ideas of Socialism. Applying the term to literature. Massachusetts in 1841. which Catholic priests are required to recite daily. in that it suggests not creation out of nothing but instead the rearranging of existing material. and “getting over” that defined the decade. drugs.” from which the term derives. takes the form of a Book of Hours. Chikamatsu Monzaemon’s The Love 58 . breviary A prayer book containing the Divine Office. Its golden age occurred in the late 17th century. whose novel The Blithedale Romance (1852) is based upon the history of the experiment. The plays. The novel The Very Rich Hours of Count von Stauffenberg. 1985) and Tama Janowitz (Slaves of New York. The use of puppets for dramatic presentation is a Japanese tradition extending back more than a thousand years. 1984). bricoleur A term coined by the French Structuralist Claude Lévi-Strauss to describe someone who assembles disparate objects to produce a tool that serves a particular purpose. by Paul West. Bunraku The modern term for the puppet theater of Japan. 1986). Brook Farm A utopian community established in West Roxbury. Brook Farm represented. an attempt to put into practice some of the principles of TRANSCENDENTALISM. at least in its first phase. when the great Japanese dramatist Chikamatsu Monzaemon began writing for the puppet theater. Among its prominent supporters were the early feminist Margaret Fuller and Nathaniel Hawthorne. They included Jay McInerney (Bright Lights. Big City. The medieval Book of Hours was a secular version of the breviary.

burlesque is usually distinguished from satire by its broad comic effects and its willingness to depart from serious criticism of its subject in favor of simple entertainment. rising to the calf. see Simon Callan’s Charles Laughton. a type of comic entertainment featuring slapstick comedy and striptease acts. edited by Donald Keene (1955). actors in comedies wore the 59 . a spoof of the ARTHURIAN LEGEND. A Difficult Actor (1987). presumably to give the actors a more stately and dignified appearance. Notable 18th-century burlesques include John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera (1728). a send-up of HEROIC DRAMA. Martin’s Lane (American title: The Sidewalks of London). Originally the boot had a thin sole. An Anthology of Japanese Literature. burlesque 1. American burlesque houses flourished from the late l9th century through World War II. The most famous striptease artist was Gypsy Rose Lee. worn by actors in Greek tragedies. burlesque is a frequently employed element of popular literature and film. NO. also known as a cothurnus. Contemporary examples of burlesques include Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975). Robert Clyde Allen’s Burlesque and American Culture (1991) analyzes the theatrical form as a POPULAR CULTURE phenomenon. For an account of Laughton’s performance. In America. In the 1938 film St. and Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Critic (1779). Charles Laughton gives a memorable portrayal of a Cockney busker.BUSKIN Suicides at Sonezaki (1703) is one of the most celebrated examples of the genre. which targets airplane disaster films. a burlesque of Italian opera. but additional layers were added in later periods of Greek drama. buskin A boot. busker In England a term used to describe a street performer in London during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. John Jump’s Burlesque (1972) surveys the literary term. whose career was chronicled in the Broadway musical and film Gypsy (1957). Conversely. and Airplane! (1980). As a result. Other films dealing with the subject include Lady of Burlesque (1942) and The Night They Raided Minsky’s (1968). ¯ See also KABUKI. As a form of PARODY. contains Keene’s eloquent translation of The Love Suicides at Sonezaki. A type of literature or drama designed to mock a serious work or an entire GENRE. 2.

His literary descendants include Edward Rochester in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847) and the figure of Jeffrey Aspern in Henry James’s The Aspern Papers (1888). which speaks of “the Greeks to whom we owe the first invention.” a low heeled. its internally conflicted. Lord Byron and the heroes of many of his poems and plays. As a result. rebellious and defiant hero asso- ciated both with the character of George Gordon. The Byronic hero owed something to the villain of the GOTHIC NOVEL and the suggestion of diabolism related to the FAUSTIAN THEME.” Byronic hero A term for the dark. slipper-like shoe. brooding.BYRONIC HERO “sock. An example of this use is Philip Massinger’s tragedy The Roman Actor (1626). In the l9th century the Byronic hero became a major feature of ROMANTICISM. in the Renaissance. 60 . both of the buskined scene and humble sock. buskin and sock became metaphors for tragedy and comedy. and demonic strain at once attractive and dangerous. alienated. Peter Thorslev’s The Byronic Hero (1962) offers a defense of Byron and a discussion of his influences.

the movement spread to Scotland and England. as in this example from W. where the Puritans brought it to America. but in many poems the position of the caesura varies from line to line. Cadence is a prominent feature of poetry written in FREE VERSE and of formal prose. The most distinctive feature of Calvinism is its concept of predestination. Originating in Geneva. the rhythmic rise and fall of a line as opposed to the regularity of METER. indicated in SCANSION by a double slash (||). caesura In poetry written in English. A caesura normally occurs near the middle of a line. some) creates for the reader the same sense of heavy labor that the line describes. cadence In verse and prose. the belief that the salvation or damnation of each person is predetermined by God and not within human control. harsh sound.” The effect of the s sounds (Ajax. One form of cacophony arises from the arrangement of words designed to make the reading of them difficult. c å cacophony In verse or prose. Paul Fussell’s Poetic Meter and Poetic Form (1965) offers insightful comments on cacophany. Calvinism The religious doctrines and practices derived from John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536). Paul Fussell gives the following example from Alexander Pope: “When Ajax strives some rock’s vast weight to throw. a discordant. a pause within a line of verse. Auden’s “Lullaby”: Lay your sleeping head || my love Human || on my faithless arm. strives. 61 .ååå Cabala See KABBALAH. H.

Murray traces the formation of Hamlet and the Orestes of Aeschylus’ Oresteia. The event that brought the group together was the publication of James Frazier’s monumental. . S. Among their most important works from the standpoint of literature and drama are Jane Harrison’s Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion (1903) and Themis (1912). which has played so vast a role in the mental development of the human race. divided into low camp and high camp. See PURITANISM. Jane Harrison. 12 volume anthropological study The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion (1890–1915). which includes Murray’s “Hamlet and Orestes” (1914). Camp Ground. camp A term in GAY LITERATURE and culture referring to a style that favors artifice and various forms of “posing. With Frazier’s example in mind. Cambridge Ritualists Term referring to a group of scholars from various disciplines at Cambridge University in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. characters deeply rooted in the mythology of Western civilization.CAMBRIDGE RITUALISTS Among the literary figures whose works exhibit strong Calvinist tendencies are the English poet Edmund Spenser and the Puritan poets Anne Bradstreet and Edward Taylor. [operating] not in terms of beauty. and Gilbert Murray—explored the ritual origins of Greek mythology. but in terms of degree of artifice. Eliot and William Butler Yeats. One expression of this debt is Eliot’s tribute in the “notes” to The Waste Land (1922). who explored the origins of ancient Greek religion and its ties to literature and art. of stylization. Tiffany lamps. which defined camp as “a certain form of Aestheticism . Both figures are developments of the “myths of seasonal gods in that prehistoric and worldwide ritual battle of summer and winter.” The work of the Cambridge Ritualists had a profound impact on early 20thcentury writers. . The novelist and critic Susan Sontag brought the term to general attention in her essay “Notes on Camp” (1965). is a collection of essays on the topic. and Gilbert Murray’s The Classical Tradition in Poetry (1922). and still further. the term appears in Christopher Isherwood’s novel The World in the Evening (1956). and the epigrams of Oscar Wilde. Francis Cornford’s The Origin of Attic Comedy (1914). the first example of applying MYTH CRITICISM to Shakespeare. Francis Cornford. the marvelous transformation of primitive rites into tales of the Homeric gods. such as James Joyce.” Examples of camp include Busby Berkeley film musicals (Gold Diggers of 1933). into the great achievements of classical Greek drama. Cook. edited by David Bergman (1993). of life and death. T. the Cambridge group—Arthur B.” Believed to derive from the French word camper (to pose). 62 .

Early student-oriented campus novels include accounts of student life at Harvard and Yale at the turn of the 20th century. Owen Wister’s Philosophy 4 (1903) looks at undergraduate life at Harvard at the turn of the 20th century. being fired for incompetence. an unlovely. 63 . is more lucky than good. when writers began teaching creative writing at colleges. David Lodge’s Changing Places (1975) is a delightfully satiric look at professors on an exchange program. lazy lecturer at a provincial university. Campus novels involving students began as outgrowths of 19th-century prep school fiction. for example. has his life wrecked as a result of spurious charges of racism. John Updike explores the dilemma of a Harvard Divinity student in Roger’s Version (1986). Jarrell. a less than benign look at the contemporary college campus. who arrives at a redbrick university that bears a resemblance to Lodge’s University of Birmingham. in which academic life assumes not merely a background role (as it does. she depicts a professor who. rallies his colleagues’ support by claiming he’s being dismissed for having been a Communist. Campus novels may be divided between those dealing with students’ experiences and those that focus on the faculty. a writer who comes to a small. John O. a dean at a small liberal arts college. Lyons The College Novel in America (1962) covers the topic from the 19th century to the 1950s. progressive women’s college. a timid Englishman who comes to the earthly paradise of a campus not unlike Berkeley. where McCarthy taught in the late 1940s. which looks at graduate student life. who also taught at Sarah Lawrence. and Tom Wolfe’s My Name Is Charlotte Simmons (2004). while Owen Johnson’s Stover of Yale (1911) emphasizes the importance of a caste system at the school. More recent examples are Philip Roth’s When She Was Good (1967). such as Tom Brown’s Schooldays (1857). and a go-getting American. An even better-known satiric portrayal of academic life is Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim (1955). whose protagonist. The political motif of The Groves of Academe is ironically mirrored in Philip Roth’s The Human Stain (2000). where the protagonist. Among interesting—and interlocking— satires are Mary McCarthy’s The Groves of Academe (1952) and Randall Jarrell’s Pictures from an Institution (1954). targets Gertrude Johnson. McCarthy’s novel takes aim at a small. Anticipating by some 30 years the issue of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. Morris Zapp. Small World (1984) continues their adventures. in many murder mysteries) but is a determining factor in the lives of its characters. bearing a strong resemblance to Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Faculty-oriented campus fiction emerged in the late 1940s.CAMPUS NOVEL campus novel A novel set at a college or university. progressive women’s college.

In the 20th century. emphasis fell on the interpretation of literature as a means of apprehending its transcendent and universal value. Lost in the process was the historical experience out of which the work was produced and in which it is seen or read. These critics argue that the selection of certain writers as “great” is a consequence of the inbred attitudes or unconscious prejudices of the literary establishment. From this perspective.CANON canon The literary use of the term derives from its employment in Christianity to denote those works of the Bible and the early Fathers of the Church that were “authentic. Central to this debate is the question of the validity of literary VALUE JUDGMENTS in general. who has argued for “teaching the conflicts”: that the basis for any new curriculum should be the very issues that underlie the debate over the canon. its aims and its function within society. not the least of which is the possibility of establishing criteria for measuring literary greatness. The focus on literary education is adopted in John Guillory’s “Canon” 64 . say the canon’s critics. The original use of the canon in schools was to provide models of standard written vernacular. The debate involves a number of thorny questions.” for example. past and present. One consequence of the debate is that recent years have seen a concerted effort to revise the reading list in required literature courses at American and British universities. Another view argues that studying the history of the canon provides a necessary clarification of the debate. the question of the canon is really a debate about the future of literary education.” or consistent with Church doctrine as it was being developed in the fourth century A. The defenders of the canon argue that the manifest superiority of canonical works is attested by the continuous recognition of their greatness over centuries. The fullest treatment of the question is the collection Canons. women. As a result. A notable contributor to this view is Gerald Graff. African. although the canon’s critics are less critical of value judgments per se than they are of the specific judgments that have been made.D. edited by Robert von Halberg (1985). “the canon of Western literature. minority. and third world writers have been systematically overlooked and ignored. In literature.” In the 1980s the idea of a “canon” of major literary works came under severe criticism by those who argue that the term “classic” has been reserved almost exclusively for writers who are white. Western males (the adjective “dead” is sometimes added to this description). Many of these courses now include works by Asian. and Latin American writers as well as by women writers from all spheres. the term applies to the recognized works of a particular writer or to a body of works acknowledged as “classics. This issue has become interwoven within the larger controversy surrounding the question of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS and MULTICULTURALISM.

By the end of the 17th century the distrust of materialistic and commercial values appears to give way to hopeful optimism as England assumed a leading role as a commercial and colonial power.” Each of these is divided into 33 cantos. A Plan of the English Commerce.The latter set the standard for comic treatments of the subject. disenchantment with the capitalist world begins to appear. Dante’s Divine Comedy. Ezra Pound’s major work is a poem consisting of over 100 cantos entitled simply The Cantos (collected and published in one volume in 1971). 1728). In Elizabethan drama. admirably pursued in Mario Moncelli’s Big Deal on Madonna Street (1960) and George Roy Hill’s The Sting (1973). Shakespeare characteristically offers us both the positive and negative aspects of commercialism in the figures of Antonio and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice (1596). canto A major section of a long poem. for example. edited by Frank Lentricchia and Thomas McLaughlin. not least because of the association of trade with Puritans. Thus. the entire work consists of 100 cantos. capitalism An economic system based upon the investment of privately owned wealth (capital) to produce new wealth. epitomized in William Blake’s description of the “Satanic mills” 65 . Early examples of the form are John Huston’s The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and Charles Crichton’s The Lavender Hill Mob (1951). In the first half of the 18th century. 1726–27. Henry Louis Gates’s Loose Canons: Notes on the Culture Wars (1992) addresses the debate from the perspective of an African-American scholar. caper film A type of crime film that focuses on the intricate details of an elaborately planned robbery. with the addition of an introductory Canto.CAPITALISM in Critical Terms for Literary Study (1990). powerfully assisted by the theological principles of CALVINISM. Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon (1994) is a forceful. With the Romantic period. somewhat idiosyncratic defense of the old canon. but in general dramatists of the period frequently attack the new urban commercial class. Gerald Graff’s views are contained in his Beyond the CultureWars: How Teaching the Conflicts Can Revolutionize American Education (1986).” the “Purgatorio” and the “Paradiso. Ben Jonson’s satiric comedies contain searing indictments of the new class. In the 20th century. the dream of unlimited progress on the wings of commerce and science achieves its clearest expression in the novelist Daniel Defoe’s works on economics (The Complete English Tradesman. committed Calvinists and vocal enemies of the theater. celebrations of the merchant class are evident in plays like Thomas Dekker’s The Shoemaker’s Holiday (1599). Capitalism emerged in 16th-century England. consists of three separate narratives: the “Inferno.

Even a committed socialist like Bernard Shaw offers. which bears the resonant subtitle “A Story of Wall Street. the principles of REALISM and NATURALISM imply a radical critique of capitalism. Among distinguished novels of recent years dealing with a corporate ambience are Joseph Heller’s Something Happened (1974). with its powerful evocation of fear as a motivating principle in the corporate world. The postwar years see the emergence of the business novel. The literary tradition from William Wordsworth to Ezra Pound rests upon a critique of industrial society on moral.CAPITALISM appearing in the first wave of the Industrial Revolution. The acceptance of capitalism in American culture is an accomplished fact by the end of World War II. mystifying short novel Bartleby the Scrivener (1853). Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus (1833) sees the economic laws emerging in the industrial era as a grave threat to the maintenance of a truly human society. The MUCKRAKER novels of Frank Norris (The Octopus. The Fountainhead (1943). in the figure of Andrew Undershaft (Major Barbara. but even without a commitment to Marxist ideology. On the other hand. The proletarian novel of the 1930s (see PROLETARIAN LITERATURE) puts the case against capitalism with a passion intensified by the suffering of the Depression.” The mid-19th century also gave birth to Karl Marx’s critique of capitalism (see MARXIST CRITICISM). part of a larger picture of cultural decay. grounds. The ’50s produced a rash of popular business novels. The fiction of the period echoed Carlyle’s critique: in the comprehensive picture of bourgeois society in Honoré de Balzac’s The Human Comedy (1842–50). whose hero attempts to bring his corporate career into relation with his personal values. rather than economic. and William Gaddis’s JR 66 . in Charles Dickens’s memorable indictment of dehumanizing industrialism in Hard Times (1854). 1905) an unrepentant munitions maker who wins the day rhetorically by offering a vision of the social order more coherent and logically compelling than his high-minded adversaries. later published in Whyte’s The Organization Man (1956). 1901) and Upton Sinclair (The Jungle. In the 1940s the capitalist critique from the left is compellingly reflected in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman (1949) and from the right in Ayn Rand’s popular novel. later a successful film. writers of this period and the early 20th century tended to view the economic system as a symptom of social and moral chaos. the best known of which is Sloan Wilson’s The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1955). Marquand’s Point of No Return (1949). the most distinguished of which is John P. The evils of industrialism become the key theme in the work of Thomas Carlyle. 1906) expose not simply the specific practices but the capitalist system as a whole. in Melville’s brilliant. a study in conformity based upon William Whyte’s sociological studies.

ed. caricature A term. was reprinted many times throughout the 18th century. By the 19th century these narratives provided the basis for quasi-fictional accounts with a pronounced racist coloration. the accounts of white settlers who had been captured by American Indians during the Indian wars from the late 17th to the 19th centuries.” Edwin Jones’s Memories of a Captivity Among the Indians of North America is a rarity: an unbiased account of the experience of John Tanner. such as Royal Stratton’s The Captivity of the Oatman Girls. for an exaggerated description of an individual. The Sovereignty and Goodness of God: Being A Narrative Of The Captivity And Restauration of Mrs. contains an important discussion of postColonial captivity narratives. . brokers and lawyers has been Louis Auchincloss. The earliest of these. usually applied to drawing. When offered the chance to return to white society. Mary Rowlandson (1682). Gore Vidal’s discussion of Louis Auchincloss is included in Vidal’s Matters of Fact and Fiction (1974). she makes it clear that she had to endure no more suffering than the Indians themselves underwent. “the collapse of the Puritan ethical system and its replacement by . Mary Rowlandson’s account of being held prisoner for three months in 1676. in which a particular trait becomes an overwhelming 67 .” the Wall Street broker. a satire focusing on a child capitalist. which included the death of her child. Wayne Westbrook’s Wall Street in the American Novel (1980) looks at the financial world. which tells its readers that “the footfalls of the pioneering. Sacvan Bercovitch (1995). brave Anglo Saxon is hard upon the heels of the savage. was Mrs. 2. as in the plays of Ben Jonson.” in the Cambridge History of American Literature. in Gore Vidal’s words. In more than 20 novels he has discerningly depicted. he refused.CARICATURE (1975). nothing. Her story. vol.” John McVeagh’s Tradefull Merchants: The Portrait of the Capitalist in Literature (1981) examines the image of the businessman in English literature. dating from the Colonial period in New England. Although she provides a chilling account of privation and suffering. In literature caricature usually serves a comic purpose. . Eric Sundquist’s “The Frontier and American Indians. The most consistent chronicler of the world of bankers. captivity narratives In American literature. Tom Wolfe’s portrait of one of the new “Masters of the Universe. captured at the age of nine who lived for 30 years with the Ojibwa Tribe. occupies the center of his satirical The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987).

Among the edicts Parliament issued when it came to power in 1642 was a decree closing all theaters in England. King of England from 1625 until his beheading in 1649. is reflected best in its literary form in the NOVEL. This babble of voices. Bakhtin argues that the bawdy. He sees the novel as rooted in the democratic world of the carnival where everyone. elaborately staged attempts to update the courtly love tradition. carnival A term used by the Russian theorist Mikhail Bakhtin to explore the subversion of authority and official culture in popular entertainment and festivals. Nevertheless. elegant love lyrics. The term sometimes carries a pejorative connotation when a critic uses it to stress the one-dimensional nature of a character.” specialized in witty. much of the court drama of the period consisted of pretentious. Among the better known cavalier poets are Sir John 68 . See also DIALOGISM. Tribulation Wholesome. It was during Charles’s reign that the Puritan-controlled Parliament rebelled against the crown. 1633). In fact. establishing Parliament rule in England from 1642 to 1660. whose novels abound with characters distinguished by their individual eccentricities. known popularly as “Cavalier Poetry.CARNIVAL feature of a character’s personality. regardless of how eccentric. scatological humor of these festivals testified to a rejection of the dominant medieval IDEOLOGY of church and state. The lyric poetry of the era. Prior to that date theatrical activity in the reign of Charles had been vigorous but qualitatively uneven. features characters whose names contribute to their caricature: the sensualist. Jonson’s The Alchemist (1610). Using the medieval carnivals—celebrations such as the Feast of Fools or Mardi Gras—as his prime example. for example. the Caroline age witnessed the plays of two major English dramatists. Caroline Relating to the reign of Charles I. Subtle and Face. Sir Epicure Mammon. irreverent. Mikhail Bakhtin’s Rabelais and His World (1968) and Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics (1984) develop the concepts of carnival and heteroglossia. 1632) and John Ford (’Tis Pity She’s a Whore. which Bakhtin calls HETEROGLOSSIA. Philip Massinger (A New Way to Pay Old Debts. essentially an impulse to freedom. characterizes a certain type of novel (exemplified by Dostoevsky) in which the full range of human nature is revealed. the hypocritical Puritan. Another master of literary caricature was Charles Dickens. and the con men. Caroline drama never achieved the eminence of the preceding JACOBEAN era. For Bakhtin the impulse to carnival. has a voice.

through pity and fear effecting the proper catharsis of these emotions. In literature.” In his novel Seize the Day (1956).” in which what appears to be a mixed metaphor is in fact a creative condensation of meaning.” In his Poetics. Robin Skelton’s The Cavalier Poets (1970) includes analyses of these poets’ most important poems. To Make Most of Time” and Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress. that the two views 69 . Traditionally regarded as a flaw. and the finest poet of the group.” The chief question in connection with the meaning of the term is whether “catharsis” describes the experience of the audience or whether it refers to the action of the play itself. Shakespeare uses the term comically in the sense of “rear end”: “I’ll tickle your catastrophe. OXYMORON. such as the reference in John Milton’s “Lycidas” to “blind mouths. the purification or cleansing required to atone for prior guilt. a word meaning “purgation” or “cleansing. Both groups agree. Most students of drama favor the former interpretation.” catharsis In classical Greek. Aristotle defines TRAGEDY as “an imitation of an action .” Two outstanding examples of the type date from the 17th century. carpe diem (seize the day) A Latin term expressing the idea of taking advantage of the present moment. catastrophe In TRAGEDY. Part II. Edmund Waller. In the sense that it applies to a misapplied word. . Thomas Carew. Saul Bellow employs the motif ironically: A disastrous day in the life of the main character becomes the occasion for his spiritual rebirth. are blind and interested only in feeding themselves. instead of offering a vision and feeding their flock. it can also apply to a striking and original usage. while those who employ MYTH CRITICISM tend to employ the latter view. Boas’s An Introduction to Stuart Drama (1946) covers both the Jacobean and Caroline stages. Robert Herrick (see CARPE DIEM). the term refers to a type of poetry in which the poet implores the beloved to seize pleasure rather than to be “coy. and PARADOX. Richard Lovelace. catachresis In RHETORIC. Robert Herrick’s “To the Virgins. Milton’s phrase is in a description of corrupt clergy: men who. . In Henry IV. catachresis bears a family resemblance to other examples of misapplication such as MALAPROPISM. the final phase—the denouement—of the tragic action. however. S. F. the misuse—usually deliberate—of a word or phrase.CATHARSIS Suckling.

The task of the poststructuralist is to show how this “center” is not a natural condition but a social construction rooted in a binary system of opposing terms in which one term has gained ascendancy over the other—for example. Thomas Carew. Welsh. Recent studies include Adnan Abdulla’s Catharsis in Literature (1985) and Stephen Halliwell’s Aristotle’s Poetics (1986). The Cavalier poets created a fluent. Sir John Suckling. “center” represents a firm foundation upon which rests a perception. Cavalier Poets A group of poets connected to the court of Charles I of England. moral. Religious censorship is exemplified by the Vatican’s INDEX LIBRORUM PROHIBITORUM. and Robert Herrick. culminating in the literary forgeries attributed to the Celtic poet OSSIAN. a conception. or simply an order of words. the Bretons (natives of Brittany). a listing of forbidden books. recreate those emotions in the audience. or religious grounds. who supported the King during the English Civil Wars (1641–49). LOGOCENTRISM). Celtic literature Literature produced by the Celtic speaking peoples ofWestern Europe and the British Isles. Tragedy may reenact an archetypal pattern of guilt and atonement and. The king’s followers were called Cavaliers while his Parliamentary opponents were known as Roundheads. Manx (the natives of the Isle of Man). the traditional preference of male over female or speech over writing (see PHALLOCENTRISM. not contradictory. a literary movement known as the Celtic Revival spurred an intense interest in Celtic literature. in France. Political censorship has been and continues to be characteristic of totalitarian regimes. Moral censorship generally relates to the issue of PORNOGRAPHY. poststructuralists attempt to “decenter” them. In analyzing these values. In 18th-century England. in so doing. dislodge them from their status as truths “that go without saying. See also CAROLINE. Edmund Waller.CAVALIER POETS are mutually compatible. 70 . Among the best known of the group are Richard Lovelace. sophisticated body of love lyrics in which the theme of CARPE DIEM (“Seize the day!”) played a prominent role. A notable example of religious censorship is the FATWA directed against the novelist Salman Rushdie by the religious government of Iran. Scottish. notably the Irish. censorship The practice of examining and suppressing writing or performances on political. In these theories. and. center/decenter Key terms in DECONSTRUCTION and POSTSTRUCTURALISM.” The problem.

With a powerful patron to protect them from the antitheatrical city authorities. A. S. The most elegant literary expression of the chain concept is in Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man (1734). chain of being An 18th-century metaphor depicting all existence as an inter- locking chain. spurred by the popularity of Shakespeare’s dramas. For Leibniz the conception of the chain of being reinforced his thesis that this was the best of all possible worlds. on the outskirts of London. Thus the deconstruction of a literary text is a bottomless well that never achieves CLOSURE. once begun. and the NEOPLATONISM of the Renaissance. who excelled in the leading tragic roles. the GLOBE THEATRE. The two star performers were Richard Burbage. is that decentering. It reached its culmination in the theory of the 18th-century philosopher Gottfried Leibniz. cento See COLLAGE. and Will Kempe. the subject’s chief motive is the desire for a centered selfhood. At one end of the chain was God. Smith and William Kerrigan. In the view of the psychoanalytic poststructuralist Jacques Lacan. the company prospered. Chamberlain’s/King’s Men The two names of the acting company of which Shakespeare was a member and for which he wrote his plays. The concept stretches back to Plato’s Republic and Timaeus. The Lord Chamberlain’s Men was formed in 1594 under the patronage of Henry Carey. Interpreting Lacan (1983).CHAMBERLAIN’S/KING’S MEN though. A further irony is that the agent of centering/decentering is not the traditional “centered” SELF. to nothing. a concept satirized by Voltaire in Candide (1759). the Scholastic philosophy of the MIDDLE AGES. Humans occupied the center of the chain midway between God and nothingness. edited by Joseph H. (Lord Hunsdon). to human beings. only the stalemate characterized as APORIA. to animate and inanimate objects. 71 . In 1599 the players erected their own playhouse. but this is impossible to achieve because it is rooted in a fantasy represented as the union with the mother. a gradation of existence from the lowest to the highest. Lord Chamberlain from 1585 to 1596 and under his son George until 1603. the principal comic actor. but the decentered SUBJECT who has neither control nor freedom. Lovejoy’s The Great Chain of Being (1936) contains a definitive account of the history of the idea. to animals. has no end because it cannot simply replace one center with another. extending down from above the orders of angels. is a useful collection of essays on Lacan’s ideas.

chapbook A pamphlet of 16 or 32 pages sold in England from the 16th to the 19th century by peddlers (“chapmen”). they continued to play at the Globe. and Germany. two actors in the company. recounting the heroic deeds of Roland. The contents might include accounts of crimes.CHANSON DE GESTE They soon became the leading acting troupe in London. In 1608. James I. the company put on a production of Shakespeare’s Richard II on the eve of an abortive attempt by the earl of Essex to seize the throne from the aging Queen Elizabeth. whose valiant death against great odds exemplified the heroic virtues of loyalty and courage. The players continued to perform there until 1642. Spain. Traditional fic- tion usually includes a physical description of a character’s appearance. the actors testified that they had been paid by the followers of Essex to put on Richard II (the play has an abdication scene in it). a private indoor playhouse. but they also gave private performances for the king. the majority date from the 12th century. celebrating the battles of Emperor Charlemagne (A. character A person depicted in a NARRATIVE or DRAMA. In that year. romances. Other well-known chapbooks were the Elizabethan “cony-catching pamphlets. 1100). 742–814). had ensured its immortality by collecting Shakespeare’s plays and overseeing the publication of the FIRST FOLIO (1623). With a royal protector. but 72 . ballads. With Elizabeth’s death in 1603. or sermons. Charlemagne’s nephew. The chansons had a powerful impact throughout Europe. chanson de geste (song of deeds) A medieval narrative poem detailing the heroic exploits of a legendary hero. John Heminges and Henry Condell. The most famous is the Chanson de Roland (c. Faustus appeared in a chapbook.” Twenty years earlier. Despite their historical base the chansons were highly fictionalized and fantasized accounts. spawning imitations in Italy. Of the 80 extant chansons. although the company narrowly escaped extinction in 1601. An informative study of the Chamberlain’s/King’s Men is Andrew Gurr’s The Shakespearian Playing Companies (1996). The original account in England of the story of Dr.” exposés of the Elizabethan underworld that purported to offer an insider’s view of the way con men and pickpockets went about their trade. however. but the company itself was exonerated. when the Puritan-dominated Parliament decreed that “publike Stage-Playes shall cease and bee forebone. the company came under the patronage of the new king. In the investigation that followed the unsuccessful uprising. they were able to lease the BLACKFRIARS THEATRE.D.

” The Greek writer Theophrastus originated the form in the third century B. In 17th-century England. characters in 20th-century literature. Forster’s Aspects of the Novel (1917) and John Bayley’s The Characters of Love: A Study in the Literature of Personality (1960). The role of the UNCONSCIOUS and the employment of techniques such as the INTERIOR MONOLOGUE and MAGIC REALISM have provided a more complex conception of the internal lives of characters. often either biblical (Ahab and Ishmael in Moby Dick) or mythological (Dedalus in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man). which has been an enduring feature of movies from the earliest days to the present. who remain unchanged throughout the story. A comparable distinction exists between STOCK CHARACTERS and those that are “three-dimensional. 1608) and Sir Thomas Overbury (Characters. indeed the indispensable element in Mack Sennett’s Keystone Kops series. the exciting. which established its place in the WESTERN. Usually occurring near the conclusion of the film. farcical highlight preceding the resolution of the plot. Murdstone. such as a “boaster” or a “malcontent. character. M. sometimes described as “the art of action. Round characters—those seen in a more rounded fashion— usually change in the course of the story. 73 . and Pecksniff.C. the In FILM.” Flat characters tend to be minor figures. Charles Dickens refi ned this technique by using names that suggest rather than directly describe the character. The influence of Freudian psychology has played a powerful role in the depiction of.CHASE. such as Scrooge.” Some critics point out. Some modern writers use names that function as ALLUSIONS. chase. Joseph Hall (Characters of Virtues and Vices. the chase provided the final. In silent films the chase was a pervasive ingredient in comedies. however. Chases are an integral aspect of film because they embody the essence of the medium. and response to.” The chase played a central role in The Great Train Robbery (1903). sometimes comic scene of pursuit. Among important critical treatments of character are E. A basic distinction between types of characters is that between “flat” and “round. that even highly individualized and fully rounded characters are variations of certain archetypal figures (see MYTH CRITICISM). One form of description is sometimes evident in the character’s name. the A form of literature consisting of a brief sketch of a general type of person. THE many modern and postmodern novels dispense with the physical description and focus on the state of mind or motivation of the character. 1614) adapted and popularized the form.

” The critic Louis Montrose employs chiasmus in his definition of NEW HISTORICISM as “the history of texts and the textuality of history. they condemned the evils of industrialization and commercialism. The original American title of the novel was The Labyrinthine Ways. Later Chicago-based works include Sandburg’s Chicago Poems (1916) and James T. the prototype is the classic pursuit through the sewers of Paris in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables (1862). Graham Greene supplies a religious interpretation to the theme: it depicts a priest who is being hunted by an anti-clerical Mexican government. The spirit of the movement was captured in the literary magazine Poetry. A famous example is John F. reflected in Carl Sandburg’s phrase.” Chicago renaissance A period in early 20th-century American literary history when a significant number of important writers. I fled Him. and Sherwood Anderson. The Chase (1966) and The Fugitive (1993). . an allusion to “The Hound of Heaven” (1893). The Chicago writers both celebrated and deplored their city. down the nights and down the days. Edgar Lee Masters. The most prominent of these writers was Richard Wright. the inversion of words from the first half of a state- ment in the second half. In The Power and the Glory (1940). In some cases the chase has been expanded to embrace the central action of the film. The term has also been applied to a flourishing literary activity among African-American writers who settled in the city as a result of the migration of southern blacks to the large cities of the Midwest during the 1930s and ’40s. Kennedy’s “Ask not what your country can do for you. Notable in this category is the San Francisco chase in Bullitt (1968). including Theodore Dreiser. . Among the literary antecedents of the film chase. . down the arches of the years.” On the other hand. ask what you can do for your country. memorably exposed in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (1906). lived in and wrote about Chicago. founded in 1912 by Harriet Monroe and still in existence today. Carl Sandburg. a poem by Francis Thompson in which the speaker describes his pursuit and ultimate capture by Christ: I fled Him. “hog butcher to the world.CHIASMUS In addition to Westerns and comedies. notably in Odd Man Out (1947). Farrell’s Studs Lonigan trilogy (1932–35). chases have become a common device in action and detective films. I fled Him. down the labyrinthine ways. seeing it bursting with raw energy and optimism. and the under-the-el chase in The French Connection (1971). the first half of which is set in the city. whose Native Son (1940) 74 . chiasmus In RHETORIC. The earliest expression of the renaissance was Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie (1900).

arguing for a variety of critical perspectives on literature. Among children’s classics of the early 20th century. 1949). and Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). Recent years have seen an emphasis on the importance of children’s need to experience tragedy in literary form. Among their Aristotelian characteristics was an emphasis on GENRE as the basis of analyzing a literary work. Elder Olson. Other Chicagobased writers of the ’40s and ’50s were the poet Gwendolyn Brooks (Annie Allen. Although the Chicago critics had a limited influence. John Newberry’s A Little Pretty Pocket Book (1744) was the first book in English designed to entertain rather than educate a child. Their basic principles were spelled out in the collection of essays Critics and Criticism: Ancient and Modern (1952). S. their tradition survives in later generations of critics associated with the university. the novelist Margaret Walker (Jubilee. Lewis’s “The Narnia Chronicles. Richard McKeon. The mid-century was marked by the popularity of E. 1976). particularly Wayne Booth. Keast. the Chicago school maintained an essentially pluralist view of criticism.” a series of books published in the 1950s. and Norman Maclean (later celebrated as the author of A River Runs Through It. R. Chicago school A critical movement centered at the University of Chicago from the 1930s to the 1960s that adopted an Aristotelian approach to literary texts. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh (1926) are outstanding. Apart from nursery rhymes and FAIRY TALES. Despite their basic adherence to Aristotle’s Poetics. White’s Charlotte’s Web (1952) and C.CHILDREN’S LITERATURE captured the struggle of the black man in the Depression years. In addition to Crane. Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows (1908) and A. children’s books were largely educational and edifying until the middle of the 18th century. Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island (1882) and Kidnapped (1886). celebrated examples include Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (1868) and Johanna Spyri’s Heidi (1880). A. many now argue for books that are not simply more “realistic” but “tragic” in the traditional sense. Chicano/Chicana literature See HISPANIC-AMERICAN LITERATURE. B. Opposed to the traditional view that children should be shielded from tragic experience. 1966) and the playwright Lorraine Hansberry (A Raisin in the Sun. Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902). edited by the group’s leader. designed to 75 . children’s literature Literature designed to be read by children. other prominent Chicago critics included W. Among 19th-century novels for girls. In the 19th century adventure stories for boys became popular with Johan Wyss’s The Swiss Family Robinson (1812–13). whose work on the rhetoric of literature was instrumental in the development of READER RESPONSE CRITICISM. 1959). Ronald Crane.

frequently employing a humorous.CHINESE-AMERICAN LITERATURE evoke in their audience a spiritual cleansing (CATHARSIS). His novel Donald Duk (1991). however. the experience of a Chinese P.” a fact that causes identity problems for some ABCs (Americanborn Chinese).O. Chinese-American literature In the 1840s the first substantial number of Chinese immigrants arrived on the West Coast. Lon 76 . introducing Chinese modes of thought and culture to Americans. takes a somewhat more optimistic look at the problem.) Carolyn Kingston’s The Tragic Mode in Children’s Literature (1974) offers a thoughtful analysis of the subject. a semi-autobiographical account of a Chinese-American woman coming to grips with her identity. in the Korean conflict. The first prominent Chinese-American writer was Lin Yutang. as in The Chinese Way of Life (1959). The Chinese-American work that broke through the boundary of “Chinatown” is Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior (1976). who immigrated in 1930 after the Chinese civil war. when new immigration laws radically reduced the number of Asian immigrants. David Harry Hwang’s 1979 drama F. born in China in 1895. a tragi-comic account of life in China during the Cultural Revolution. An example of this type of fiction is William Armstrong’s Sounder (1969). a sharply satirical look back in anger at mainstream Asian and traditional Chinese culture. light touch. trying to reconcile the stories of women warriors with the traditional patriarchal oppression in Chinese culture.” which became areas of curiosity and stereotyping for mainstream Americans.B. He achieved great popularity. (See also FAIRY TALE. Similarly. (Fresh Off the Boat) focuses on the experiences of new immigrants from Hong Kong who “don’t act like they’re fresh off the boat. a novel in which the evils of a segregated society result in the physical defeat but moral victory of the principal characters.W. and War Trash (2004). The struggle for identity among women immigrants is the central subject of the best-selling novels by Amy Tam. more critical approach is evident in Frank Chin’s The Chickencoop Chinamen (1972). A steady stream of immigration continued until 1924. They came to work on the transcontinental railroad or in mining camps. An angrier. The Joy Luck Club (1989) and The Kitchen God’s Wife (1991).O. congregating in “Chinatowns. In the meantime most immigrants had settled in large cities. Notable recent novels by Chinese Americans include Ha Jin’s Waiting (1999). Louis Chu’s Eat a Bowl of Tea (1961) offers a comic approach to the serious question of the male Chinese immigrant’s plight issuing from the immigration laws that prevented women from entering the country.

ranging from the earliest view of Jesus as teacher and prophet through the medieval conception of the Son of God.CHRIST Chang’s Inheritance (2004) deals with the impact of a woman’s suicide on her two daughters. the Renaissance view of the Universal Man. A collective chorus is effectively employed in T. The religious historian Jaroslav Pelikan has charted these changes. Shakespeare uses a single-person chorus to introduce and comment on the action in Romeo and Juliet. The function of the chorus in Greek drama is to reflect the traditional views of society. Henry V. the sacrificial agent whose suffering and death atones for the sins of the community. both a historical and symbolic figure whose image has consistently changed over 20 centuries. 77 . as in A Chorus Line (1975). and The Winter’s Tale. the term refers to a group of performers who sing or dance. of the Christ archetype. ed. Christ In literature. S. Tragic figures such as Hamlet. Along with the direct usages captured in religious writing are the symbolic representations of the Christ figure. views that are usually inadequate to comprehend the full implication of the tragic action. which depicts Jesus endorsing human freedom. San-Ling Cynthia Wong’s Teaching Asian American Literature (1993) brings feminist theory to bear on the topic. the Romantic image of the Poet of the Spirit to the modern representation of Christ as Liberator. Pericles. Faulkner’s Joe Christmas (Light in August. sometimes playing a collectively important role in the action. Eliot’s play Murder in the Cathedral (1935). a group of actors who observe and comment on the action of the play. Conrad’s Jim (Lord Jim. articulated in MYTH CRITICISM. 1890). not freedom. and Ignazio Silone’s Pietro Spina (Bread and Wine. Shan Qiang He’s “Chinese Asian-American Literature” is a succinct summary of the subject in New Immigrant Literatures in the United States (1996). 1936) exemplify the Christ figure as tragic hero. opposing the Inquisitor’s belief that most of humankind wants security. the most notable is the “Grand Inquisitor” episode in Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov (1879–80). healer of the oppressed. extending to her Chinese-American granddaughters. the Enlightenment ideal of the Teacher of Common Sense. In MUSICALS. At the heart of these conceptions is the view. 1932). or both. Alpana Sharma Knippling. chorus In Greek drama. This sense of Jesus as “liberator” was also invoked in Tolstoy’s novel Resurrection (1899) and in 20thcentury social protest novels such as John Steinbeck’s The Grapes ofWrath (1939). Greek tragedy developed from choral performances. Among direct representations of the Christ figure. According to Aristotle.

no kind of science rightly so called. Edward Hall’s The Union of the Two Noble and Illustrious Families of Lancaster and York (1548). satiric vein. but the scripture must contain it. Nikos Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ (1954). The term derives from the fact that many of these plays used as their sources Raphael Holinshed’s Chronicles of England.CHRONICLE PLAY A similar view of Christ pervades the more self-consciously allegorical A Fable (1954) by William Faulkner. In 16th-century England. edited by Neil Rhodes. Scotland and Ireland (1577–87) and. and. then there is no part of true philosophy. Giles Goat Boy (1966) by John Barth. developed at the end of the 17th century into modern English prose. apparent and easy to be known. chronicle play A term for plays dealing with English history that were writ- ten during the ELIZABETHAN and JACOBEAN periods. to a lesser extent. Shakespeare made use of both works in writing his English history plays. These shifting conceptions suggest that the archetypal power of the Christ figure remains powerful despite the diminished religious faith of the modern age. Ciceronian style The style identified with the Roman orator and statesman Cicero. 78 . adapted into a controversial film by Martin Scorsese in 1988. Edwin Moseley’s Pseudonyms of Christ in the Modern Novel (1962) and Theodore Ziolkowski’s Fictional Transfigurations of Jesus (1972) analyze major treatments of Christ in fiction. notably George Bernard Shaw in his Saint Joan: A Chronicle Play (1923). no art of account. which. Some writers occasionally use the term to describe modern history plays. Jaroslav Pelikan’s Jesus through the Centuries (1985) is a cultural history of the significance of Christ’s life. in turn. One of its finest exemplars was the theologian Richard Hooker. English Renaissance Prose (1997). The style was highly rhetorical with elaborately constructed sentences. humanists searching for an appropriate style for formal written English looked to Cicero as their model. as in this sentence from his The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity (1593): If we define that necessary unto salvation whereby the way to salvation is in any sort made more plain. is a collection of essays discussing the evolution of English prose from the early 16th to the late 17th centuries. in a mocking. represents a spiritually conflicted Christ. In the 17th century there was a marked turn away from the Ciceronian style to the SENECAN STYLE.

Although the evils of city life had been the subject of satire by Aristophanes. and human achievement. and diseases. however. learning. except the business that never came out of it.CITY. Hillis Miller’s Charles Dickens:TheWorld of His Novels (1958) discusses the role of circumlocution as a symbol of evil.D. active forces that alter and shape the lives of their inhabitants. the negative images of urban life intensified. the St. THE cinéma verité (film truth) A type of DOCUMENTARY filmmaking that employs handheld cameras and portable sound equipment. Charles Dickens satirizes the bureaucratic delays of government agencies in his depiction of the Circumlocution Office: “In short all business of the country went through the Circumlocution Office. the city assumes a preeminent role. 1852) serve not merely as scenic backdrops but as characters.” J. the theme of the city has acquired contradictory con- notations: on the one hand. With the coming of industrialization. the London of Charles Dickens (particularly his Bleak House. usually evasive. crime. In his novel Little Dorrit (1855–57). Honoré de Balzac. fellowship. 1886). on the other. powerfully locates the idea of the city at the center of human experience. Augustine’s description of the two cities. worldliness. and Juvenal in classical times. Written following the fall of Rome in A. The city has served as a literary topic since antiquity. and crowds. Petersburg of Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment. At the heart of this ambivalence is the recognition that the city—its virtues and its vices—is a human creation and. use of language. 410. city. the virtues of city life were also extolled. achieving its fullest exposition in Saint Augustine’s The City of God. Horace. The formal term in rhetoric is periphrasis. 1852). 79 . and its name was legion. corruption. and Émile Zola. circumlocution A roundabout. the heavenly city and the city of this world. with its profound commitment to nature. The crowding of the cities—rife with poverty. enabling the filmmakers to capture the reality of the situation being filmed. the New York of Herman Melville (Pierre. a testament to the best and worst of the human race.” In the 19th-century novel. of “getting and spending” and of Blake’s “mind-forg’d manacles. as such. The Paris of Victor Hugo. in Wordsworth’s phrase. together with the spectacle of deserted villages and exploited countrysides—unleashed a powerful anti-urban theme burgeoning in the late 18th century and continuing to the present day. the In literature. viewed the city as an alien and alienating place—the seat. and Ben Jonson in Renaissance London. Romanticism.

service professionals. Both traditions adhere in 20th-century literature with the added dimension of the city as the site of modern EPIC. the bourgeoisie. The Third Man (Vienna. Johnston’s The Poet and the City (1984) selectively surveys urban poetry from the classical period to the present. but. John H. the conviction that bourgeois values are the only reasonable ones. and Taxi Driver (New York. according to Marx. Distinguished examples include Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past (1913–27). social class is relatively recent. such as those of Charles Dickens. dating back to the 19th century. the literary form in which the interactions of the classes are most pronounced. social class functions not as an abstract category but as a dynamic presence. 80 . 1930). an education novel. Among these contending classes conflict is inevitable. Marxists cite as bourgeois even those novels. made up of shopkeepers. class As a term. who own only their own labor. determined to make his or her mark in the big city. From a Marxist perspective. Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet (1961) and. Marx also designated two sub-classes. Alfred Doblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929). and the proletariat. most of the literature of the 19th and 20th century exhibits an endorsement of bourgeois values. at times explicitly. in verse. Under the Roofs of Paris (Paris. and the lumpenproletariat. Diana Festa-McCormick’s The City as Catalyst (1979) examines the urban theme in 10 novels of the 19th and 20th centuries. 1955).CLASS A significant feature of many of these novels is the motif of the young man or woman from the provinces. having successfully infiltrated all of society with its IDEOLOGY. and small farmers. The most famous employment of the term belongs to Karl Marx. 1947). or as ironic tragedy. 1976). the owners of the financial and manufacturing “means of production”. Odd Man Out (Belfast. the outcasts of society. Examples of the latter process are the novels of Jane Austen. the dominant class is the bourgeoisie. at other times unexpressed but taken for granted. William Carlos Williams’s Paterson (1946–58). 1949). In most novels. whose fine discriminations of character are framed within the context of the intrusion of bourgeois values into the lives of the landed gentry in early 19th-century England. the petit bourgeoisie. Notable films that capture the feel of modern cities include Summertime (Venice. 1972). that focus on social problems. James T. James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922). although the phenomenon it describes is ancient. This encounter of innocence and experience is dramatized in the form of a BILDUNGSROMAN. Fellini’s Roma (Rome. who postulated the existence of three classes: the land-owning old aristocracy. Farrell’s Studs Lonigan: A Trilogy (1935). but call for only moderate reforms and celebrate a common humanity that transcends class distinctions.

edited by Richard Ellmann and Charles Feidelson. Eliot’s essay “Ulysses. a vivid account of the lives of workers in an English mining town. By the 1960s. the conscious imitation of the forms. S. at least in academic circles where the NEW CRITICISM upheld the classical principles of restraint and order. and what were believed to be the rules. S. H.” T. The distinctions of dress. and Myth” is reprinted in The Modern Tradition (1965). a portrayal of life in the Chicago slums. but a satisfactory alternative has not as yet received general acceptance. such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Eliot’s defense of James Joyce’s Ulysses from the charge that it was “undisciplined”: Eliot argued that it is a true “classicist” text. of ordering. Order. Among those qualities are symmetry. Farrell’s Studs Lonigan trilogy (1932–35). Or.CLASSICISM Novels that embody a working class ideology include Émile Zola’s Germinal (1885). and cultural preferences that were the hallmarks of class distinctions disappeared as young people from all classes celebrated and imitated working class icons. Raymond Williams’s Keywords (1976) contains a historical definition of the term. The first half of the 20th century saw to some extent a return to classical principles. The rise of an international youth culture in Europe and America is one example. in which ruthless capitalists seize control of the United States government. and reason. using classical myth as “a way of controlling. One notable example is T. depicting the lives of migrant laborers in the midst of the 1930s depression. control. classicism A term covering a variety of uses but chiefly referring to qualities associated with the literature and culture of Greece and Rome. Mary Eagleton and David Pearce’s Attitudes to Class in the English Novel (1979) examines the issue in terms of Victorian and 20th-century fiction. Marx’s categories no longer reflected the reality of class structures. Jack London’s The Iron Heel (1907). In this sense classicism stands in opposition to ROMANTICISM. dialect. of classical literature. D. Fredric Jameson’s Postmodernism. and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (1939). Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers (1913). the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1992) analyzes the current situation. 81 . which depicts the lives of striking miners. James T. The Renaissance rediscovery of classical literature led to the development in the 17th and 18th centuries of NEOCLASSICISM. of giving a shape and a significance to the immense panorama of futility and anarchy which is contemporary history. The subsequent collapse of Communist regimes in Eastern Europe further supported the suspicion that the Marxist analysis of class was oversimplified and outmoded. harmony.

Among other celebrated examples of the close-up technique in film history are Carl Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928). Closure in this context refers not so much to the technical ending of a story as to a sense of completeness or wholeness experienced by the reader. 1987) offers an interesting analysis of the technique. Among notable examples of the type are John Milton’s Samson Agonistes (1671). thematic commentary on the nature of film itself.CLIMAX climax The turning point in a DRAMA or work of fiction. the climax occasionally occurs earlier. Marxist critics have emphasized the need to move beyond the formal structure of the text to examine the work’s ideology. closure The ending or point of resolution in a literary work. Similarly. 15. is neither possible nor desirable. In the latter two films the technique serves as a self-conscious. in the sense of arriving at a determinant meaning of a text. Such works seem to ask the reader or viewer to complete them. as in Mark Antony’s address to the crowd at the midpoint of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. close-up In film. a SHOT in which the camera appears to be so close that the subject. Griffith was the first to use the close-up as an important element in film. and Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-up (1966). not performed. Close-ups are frequently used to focus the audience’s attention on the reactions or emotions of a specific character. Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954). even if it is a relatively small object like the head of a person. It is an operating assumption of DECONSTRUCTION that critical closure. and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound (1820). Lord Byron’s Manfred (1817). closet drama A play designed to be read either silently or in a group. Although usually located near the end of a NARRATIVE or play. V. from the standpoint of READER RESPONSE CRITICISM. fills the entire screen. Thomas Harris’s “Rear Window and Blow-up: Hitchcock’s Straight Forwardness and Antonioni’s Ambiguity” (Literature/Film Quarterly. The pioneer director D. From this perspective the ending of a work occurs when the reader determines its function in society. W. the reader’s feelings determine closure.The term becomes problematic in connection with many modern and contemporary works that are distinguished by their open-endedness or apparent lack of closure. 82 . They may also be employed to call attention to an important detail. “Closet” in this sense means private library or study.

the conduct of heroes in Ernest Hemingway’s fiction. Independence. the shared understandings that make communication possible. collage In art.COLLAGE Barbara Herrnstein Smith’s Poetic Closure: A Study of How Poems End (1968) is an admirable analysis of closure in poetry.” Philip Young’s Ernest Hemingway: A Reconsideration (1966) discusses the code at length. The “Hemingway Code. collaborative learning A pedagogical practice that emphasizes learning in small groups. collaborative learning argues that students learn more effectively by exchanging and developing ideas with their peers than by the isolated efforts of individuals to absorb facts handed down by a teacher. codex A book that contains manuscripts. and the emergence of writing centers. maintaining that the latter “close” when the author’s point has been made.” a phrase coined by the critic Philip Young. amplify the writing curriculum as an important learning resource. cockney school of poetry A derisive term first employed in 1817 to describe the poetry of Leigh Hunt. David Richter’s Fable’s End (1974) draws a distinction between plot-oriented novels and those with a thesis. This approach is evident to a significant extent in COMPOSITION STUDIES where such activities as peer tutoring. The term cockney alluded to the fact that the writers were all Londoners. 83 . resigned. some of whose rhymes were thought to reflect a cockney pronunciation. Rooted in the principle of SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION. The term is sometimes used in literature to refer to the technique of incorporating bits and pieces of other writing within a story or poem. Kenneth Bruffee’s Higher Education. unillusioned. Percy Shelley and William Hazlitt. John Keats. collaborative authorship. and the Authority of Knowledge (1993) is an exemplary treatment of that subject. the term also refers to certain principles of behavior—for example. All of these virtues are exemplified in the character of the old fisherman in Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea (1952). defined by Hemingway as “grace under pressure. Frank Kermode’s The Sense of an Ending (1967) looks at the human need to impose endings as a way of sustaining the illusion of order. and dignified. code In linguistics. an arrangement of disparate materials pasted on a surface. refers to a pattern of behavior that is stoic. In literature. a poem made up entirely of lines from other poems. Another code characteristic is courage. One version of a collage is a cento.

rebuilt their ship and eventually sailed to Jamestown. Anne Bradstreet and Edward Taylor. whose performance in the lead role of Racine’s Phèdre marks a high point in the history of French theater. where Puritan industry and discipline saw the establishment of the first college (Harvard). a theologian who had a lasting impact on American thought. among whom can be included the two finest poets of the period. comédie larmoyante (tearful comedy) A type of 18th century DRAMA that contained tearful. the meticulous comparison of two copies of the same text to determine variations between the two. famous for its fire and brimstone character. cast away on a strange island. The survivors of the wreck. loose-living ways. Conditions in the early Virginia colony rendered it an inauspicious place for literature. On a much loftier ethical plane was Roger Williams’s The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution for Cause of Conscience (1644). The second generation colonists. the first printing press. Edwards is best known for his SERMON “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” (1741). sentimental scenes in which virtuous characters triumph over 84 . Among its greatest actors was the legendary Sarah Bernhardt. Among the early tales of voyages to Virginia is one of a ship wrecked in a storm in the Bermudas. colophon A publisher’s logo and identifying information appearing on the title page of a book.COLLATION collation In TEXTUAL CRITICISM. One notable exception was a satire against the Puritans. and the first newspaper. written by Thomas Morton. Darrel Abel’s American Literature: Colonial and Early National Writing (1963) provides a detailed history of the period. New English Canaan (1637). Not so in New England. also created a new genre: the CAPTIVITY NARRATIVE. an earnest if ineloquent plea for the separation of church and state. The company is famous for the consistently high quality of its ensemble performances and its repertory of classical French drama. But the most important cultural development of the early 18th century was “the Great Awakening.” the religious revival spearheaded by Jonathan Edwards. The literature that emerged in New England was of a largely religious character. a former colonist who had been banished by the authorities for his dissolute. Comédie-Française The national theater company of France founded in 1680 by royal decree. The account of their castaway experience provided Shakespeare with source material for The Tempest. Colonial period (American literature) American literature begins with the first accounts of the colonies of Virginia and New England.

(For a description of comedy in fiction. In the triumph of love over war or. clever servants. an address to the audience by the CHORUS. whether they be gods or governments. comedy can be seen from two perspectives. to its origins in the primitive celebrations of spring designed to ensure a prosperous seed time and the health and longevity of the community. and greedy old men.” a form that employed parody and satire of classical myth. is a striking example not only of Old Comedy.” a form employing stock characters such as the EIRON and ALAZON. is the sole surviving example of “Middle Comedy. Comedy in the carnival mode thumbs its nose at the powers that be.C. the particular form of dramatic comedy has been traced. In the course of the play. all of them characterized by extravagant plots and biting satire of individuals and institutions. One such target was Socrates. providing a release through a ritualized SCAPEGOAT figure whose ultimate repudiation permits the restoration of the society’s traditional values.. New Comedy received 85 . The best known of Aristophanes’ comedies. see COMIC NOVEL. the play sounds a basic comic principle. but also of comedy in general.C. These plays consist of a debate between two characters. whose plays influenced the success of SENTIMENTAL COMEDY in England in the early 18th century. followed by a wedding or feast to conclude the action. and a series of broad comic scenes. The creator of the form was Pierre Claude Nivelle de la Chausée. Imported to Rome in the second and third centuries B. The sole extant examples of this “Old Comedy” are 11 plays of Aristophanes. characters would deliver scurrilous invective against various well-known people. It depicts the successful efforts of Athenian women to put an end to the Peloponnesian War by refusing to have sex with their husbands while the war lasts. Plutus (388 B. One employs the idea of CARNIVAL. more precisely.C. sex over death. as has TRAGEDY.) as a fraud and atheist. Classical comedy dates to the fifth century B.C. An alternative view sees comedy as an essentially conservative force. comedy A type of DRAMA that celebrates or satirizes the follies of characters.COMEDY adversity. Lysistrata (411 B.). ridiculed in Aristophanes’ The Clouds (423 B. Socially. The great figure of New Comedy in Greece is Menander. This is a view that has been readily adapted and convincingly described in MYTH CRITICISM.) Although the comic impulse is a universal human trait. representing the author’s point of view on topical issues. The mythic approach helps to explain comedy’s emphasis on the social and the collective as opposed to tragedy’s focus on the isolated individual.. Aristophanes’ last play. By the end of the fourth century B.C. and plots focusing on domestic issues involving young lovers.C. the collective assertion of freedom in the face of the repressive structures of society. Middle Comedy had given way to “New Comedy.).

Although their unhappy endings would seem to violate a basic comic law. a tradition that allowed for the mixing of the sacred and the profane. Such plays as The Comedy of Errors are direct applications of Roman models. The opponent is usually the father (Senex) and the psychological descent of the heroine from the mother is also sometimes hinted at. its core consists of a “comic Oedipus situation. As Northrop Frye suggests in his summary of New Comedy. The other popular comic form. Chekhov insisted that his plays were sad but comic. invoking the echo of comedy as a ritual celebration of rebirth. developed in Sicily and southern Italy and achieved its Renaissance expression in the COMMEDIA DELL’ARTE. A notable example of the latter is The Second Shepherd’s Play (late 14th century). such as Sean O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock (1924). The Three Sisters (1901). The master of the latter form is Anton Chekhov. while As You Like It and A Midsummer Night’s Dream transpose the New Comic plot to the “green world. Although temporarily eclipsed in the 18th century by SENTIMENTAL COMEDY. Niccolò Machiavelli’s Mandragola (1518) provided a particularly cynical version of the formula. English comic dramatists integrated New Comic principles with the folk tradition of medieval drama. the tragic and the comic. Out of these classical and medieval roots Shakespeare fashioned a diverse range of comic forms. a form that feeds on dazzling wit and the creation of an artificial world. New Comedy is given another twist in the plays of Molière. In Italy. who uses the form to launch attacks on social and religious hypocrisy in such plays as The Misanthrope (1666) and Tartuffe (1669). Its main theme is the successful effort of a young man to outwit an opponent and possess the girl of his choice. and The Cherry Orchard (1904) explore a psychological and social malaise whose pathos is rooted in its characters’ acute self-consciousness. The RESTORATION period in England saw the development of the comedy of manners. Modern tragicomedy has taken two forms: tragedies laced with comic characters and scenes. and Terence. and comedies that end unhappily. FARCE.” Forms of New Comedy are evident throughout Europe.COMEDY further development at the hands of Plautus. New Comedy formed the basis of Renaissance and modern comedy. reappearing in the comedies of Oscar Wilde and in a host of prominent 20th-century playwrights. TRAGICOMEDY. the author of 21 extant plays. appeared in a new and weightier form. credited with six surviving plays. whose UncleVanya (1899). By the end of the 19th century. As fashioned by Plautus and Terence. 86 . the comedy of manners has proven a remarkably resilient genre.” a setting that incorporates the theme of nature as a regenerating force. a MYSTERY PLAY that fuses the Nativity with a comic plot involving the stealing of sheep. a type of drama that had flourished during the Renaissance.

In films. Arthur Schnitzler. the exuberance of Federico Fellini. The comic fun of these two novels lies in their energy and inventiveness. thereby providing an apt venue for satire or IRONY. Beckett may have defined the paradox of tragic farce most accurately in his comment. In this respect she expands the rich comic sphere of the 18th-century novel. echoed in different ways by George Bernard Shaw. more comprehensive view of her characters and their world. Beginning with Cervantes’s Don Quixote (1605–15). the comic mode has played a fundamental role in the history of the novel. His The Pickwick Papers (1837) continues the witty. and Luigi Pirandello. Harry Levin’s Playboys and Killjoys (1987) examines comedy in theory and practice. “There is nothing funnier than unhappiness. and the wit of Woody Allen. all testifying to the infinite variety of the comic. and Harold Lloyd—gave way to the Marx Brothers’ farces and the SCREWBALL COMEDY of the 1930s. resulting in a return to more immediate social and political issues in recent comic drama. Micawber in David Copperfield (1850) 87 . Buster Keaton. comic novel Any list of important comic novels is certain to include some of the greatest novels ever written. whose wit and irony are only components of a wider. This is the signature of the great comic novelists. leaving subsequent dramatists nowhere to go. Northrop Frye’s seminal discussion is included in his Anatomy of Criticism (1957). exemplified by Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones (1749) and Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy (1759–67).COMIC NOVEL Chekhov’s plays. Robert Corrigan’s Comedy: Meaning and Form (1965) offers a valuable collection of the most significant criticism. Novels also allow for fully developed characters and actions. the wry. such as tragic farce. playwrights of the Theater of the ABSURD created new descriptions for their work. episodic tradition of the 18th century. the Alec Guinness comedies of the ’40s. led to the 20th-century phenomenon in which many “serious” plays were written in the comic mode. while his rendering of the character of Mr. Writing in the era of EXISTENTIALISM.” But Absurdist theater and Beckett in particular seemed to have created a dead end. observant “moral tales” of Eric Rohmer. demonstrating that folly is a fundamental human trait intermixing in complicated ways with more admirable characteristics. Novels have always mirrored the societies in which they were written. the romantic sparring of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. notably Jane Austen. the great silent film comedians—Charlie Chaplin. Charles Dickens is capable of employing both styles. but they lack the complexity of feeling that Austen creates. designed to underline the meaninglessness of human existence. most notably expressed in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (1951).

In literature. his foolishness. he that is mad and sent to England” reconceives the entire action of the play from the perspective of the common man. this tradition is reflected in stories that mark a child’s passage from innocence to experience or knowledge. A master of this technique in fiction is the American short story writer Flannery O’Connor. . “A Good Man Is Hard to Find. As employed by Shakespeare in the gravediggers’ scene in Hamlet. a modern-day Ulysses. that very day that young Hamlet was born. Its leading character. wanders the streets of Dublin and exhibits those qualities of decent humanity and foolishness with unparalleled depth. the comic novel is dominated by the work many regard as the century’s greatest. comedy intensifies the tragedy by permitting us to see the tragic action from an alternative point of view. comic relief A humorous scene in tragic DRAMA or fiction that has the effect of temporarily altering the mood of the play and thereby relieving the tension. The best known comic novel of the second half of the century is Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 (1961). In the 20th century. James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922). figure a moment before she is murdered. but redeemed. Bernard Schilling’s The Comic Spirit (1965) explores the theme of “tolerant laughter” in five comic novels. an antiwar. Another form of comic relief occurs with the ironic juxtaposition of the comic and tragic. In her best-known story. 88 .” for example. and the commentary of the Fool in King Lear. becomes a member of the tribe. whose comic characters frequently meet tragic ends. coming of age A sociological term for the movement of an individual from childhood or adolescence to adulthood. Leopold Bloom. In primitive societies. The term is a misnomer insofar as it suggests a lessening of the tragic effect. communicated through the device of the INTERIOR MONOLOGUE. the main character undergoes a transformation from a comically smug manipulator into a tragic. coming of age is marked by a prescribed ritual in which the young person. The gravedigger’s comment that he began digging graves on the same day that “our last king overcame Fortinbras . his basic decency entwined with. Susan Snyder’s The Comic Matrix of Shakespeare’s Tragedies (1979) analyzes the interplay of comedy and tragedy with subtlety and precision. . and to some extent dependent upon. after undergoing a test or submitting to a painful procedure.COMIC RELIEF suggests a more complex figure. in which the child usually pays the price of pain or disillusionment. antibureaucracy satire. the drunken porter episode in Macbeth.

and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1960). Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884). But the young woman connives with her maid. Aiding their efforts and dominating the play are the other servants. An early example 89 . J. commonplace book A notebook in which a writer stores ideas. and Scaramuccia (Scaramouche). such as the Punchand-Judy show. K. thereby contributing significantly to the development of comic drama in Europe. but its legacy lives on in popular puppet plays. M. Their most important influence was in France. to outwit the older generation and marry the young hero. offers a comprehensive collection of the plots used by one of the theatrical companies. Isabella. The most popular of these were the zanni. to a rich suitor. Notable examples in 20thcentury literature include those short stories of Ernest Hemingway that focus on the character of Nick Adams. D. Italian performers toured every major country in Europe. The commedias were performed by professional strolling players who improvised the dialogue while assuming the roles of certain stock characters. or clowns. and Henry James’s What Maisie Knew (1897). a parent or guardian.COMMONPLACE BOOK The process is a major theme of such major 19th-century works as Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations (1860–61). many of them trained acrobats whose tricks and derring-do delighted audiences. The theme also constitutes an important chapter in any novel characterized as a BILDUNGSROMAN. The Rite of Becoming. and other material for possible future use. the zanni. Columbine. Scenarios of the Commedia Dell’Arte (1967). notably in the comedies of Molière. A typical plot involved the efforts of Pantalone. Flavio. edited by Arthur and Hilda Waldhorn (1966). the appeal of this form of comedy had begun to fade. commedia dell’arte A form of popular comedy that developed during the 16th and 17th centuries in Italy. By the beginning of the 18th century. Pedrolino (Pierrot). and his friend the dottore to marry off a ward or daughter. stories. sometimes setting up permanent theaters in capital cities. a type of novel that includes coming of age. translated by Henry Salerno. Traces of their influence are evident in Shakespearean comedies such as Love’s Labour’s Lost and Twelfth Night. is a collection of stories and commentary on the theme. Lea’s Italian Popular Comedy (1962) includes a discussion of the commedia’s influence on Elizabethan drama. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye (1951). The influence of commedia dell’arte was pervasive. quotations. from which it spread throughout Europe. news items. whose names have been celebrated in theatrical history: Arlecchino (Harlequin).

both of whom served as Latin secretaries (international diplomacy was conducted in Latin) for the commonwealth government. second series. During this time. admiration of his great contemporary. comparative literature The study of relationships among literatures of dif- ferent languages or eras.” the critic Frank Kermode discusses the decline of this type of reader since Woolf’s day. Embracing a broad range of methodologies and subjects. 1961). non-scholarly.COMMON READER of a commonplace book is Ben Jonson’s Timber (1640).”Virginia Woolf echoed Johnson in The Common Reader (first series. the age is best known for the closing of all theaters in 1642 by the Puritan-controlled Parliament. In his essay “The Common Reader. Marvell’s “An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland” (1650) is considered one of the great political poems in English. 1925. Milton wrote a number of tracts supporting the commonwealth government. was demolished. The reason given was that plays were “spectacles of pleasure too commonly expressing mirth and levity. Commonwealth period In England. a category in which she included herself. genres (George Steiner’s The Death of Tragedy. or between literature and the other arts. In literary history. Leviathan (1651). the Puritan leader and commander of the English army. in which he recorded his ideas on literary theory and expressed his deep. Among other outstanding works of the period is Thomas Hobbes’s classic statement of political philosophy. notably Eikonoklastes (1649). broad international studies 90 .” In 1644 the Globe Theatre. The theaters were reopened in 1660 at the beginning of the RESTORATION period. Another name for this period is the Interregnum. Frank Kermode’s An Appetite for Poetry (1989) contains his essay on the common reader. Parliament ruled the country under the leadership of Oliver Cromwell. The writers most closely associated with the period are John Milton and Andrew Marvell. comparative literature may focus on specific authors (Mark Spilka’s Dickens and Kafka: A Mutual Interpretation. Shakespeare. “common” reader. but not uncritical. 1963). a defense of the execution of Charles I. In the 18th century. as distinct from people whose reading is a function of their profession. where Shakespeare’s company had performed his dramas. the years between the execution of King Charles I (1649) and the restoration of the monarchy (1660). 1932): she identifies her ideal reader as an educated. common reader A term used to designate people who read widely for pleasure. Samuel Johnson clarified the distinction when he spoke of “the common sense of readers uncorrupted with literary prejudices.

Such a reader. 1954).” as in Edmund Spenser’s Complaints (1591). John Peter’s Complaint and Satire in Early English Poetry (1956) provides a comprehensive account of the form. competence/performance In LINGUISTICS. 1991). The analogy breaks down. however. in that Chomsky is describing an innate. complaint A type of poem in which a speaker laments his or her unhappy condition or bemoans the general condition of life. These terms. while the reader’s competence is acquired through experience. a term used to distinguish the innate capacity to speak one’s natural language. for example.” notable because it was attributed to Shakespeare in his lifetime and included in the first edition of his Sonnets (1609). Another popular form in this period was the narrative complaint. biological competence. themes (Robert Rogers’s The Double in Literature. according to rules we are not consciously aware of (competence) and the actual utterances we make that derive from this knowledge (performance). the part of a play that traditionally follows the EXPOSITION and precedes the CLIMAX.” or it might represent a cry against “the wretched world” as the seat of “filth and fowle iniquitie. in which the ghosts of famous figures relate their sad tales. the complaint might involve a lamentation for a lost or unrequited love. will respond to the TONE of a text without making a conscious effort to do so. Another example of the form is “A Lover’s Complaint. In the complication the 91 . in which historical or mythological figures recounted the twist of fortune which led them to a tragic end.COMPLICATION (Ernst Robert Curtius’s European Literature in the Latin Middle Ages. A popular feature of medieval or Renaissance poetry. Among the best known of these are the complaints included in John Lydgate’s Falle of Princes (1431–38) and a collection of miscellaneous Tudor verse called A Mirror for Magistrates (1554). or cross-cultural treatments of feminist issues (Rey Chow’s Woman and Chinese Modernity: The Politics of Reading between East and West. complication In dramatic construction. usually before the age of three. 1970). as in Sir Thomas Wyatt’s “They Flee From Me” and the Earl of Surrey’s “Complaint of a Lover Rebuked. developed by the linguist Noam Chomsky. have been adapted to literary study to characterize the implicit understanding of literary connections on the part of a competent reader. Noam Chomsky developed his theory in his Syntactic Structures (1957).

In this negative sense. most recently. composition studies The term for the academic field that focuses on the teach- ing of writing in American schools and colleges. the preparation of students’ skills for use in the workplace. Louise Wetherbee Phelps’s “Composition Studies” in Encyclopedia of Rhetoric and Composition (1996). composition developed into a conception of writing as “process” or as “transaction” and. and POSTSTRUCTURALISM. and the use of writing as a mode of personal expression and identity. and in some cases identical with. edited by Theresa Enos. the field now includes pedagogical practices that include collaborative writing—writing done by two or more students. Traditionally focused on the written “products” of students in terms of correctness of grammar and style. As a result. Composition studies now operates as an interdisciplinary study and an eclectic practice. including CULTURAL STUDIES. conceit became a disparaging term used to describe poetry that was too clever or fanciful for its own good. Like its view of writing. Eliot and other advocates of NEW CRITICISM rehabilitated the REPUTATION of the Metaphysicals and celebrated many of their elaborate conceits. Eliot saw these conceits as instances of a unified sensibility that later poetry lacked (see DISSOCIATION OF SENSIBILITY). composition refers to a range of activities that include the achievement of literacy. it is both a practical and a theoretical discipline. conceit A term for a particularly fanciful metaphor. RHETORIC. composition studies has been closely allied to. witty expression. it is itself always in “process. T. offers an admirable summary of the field. feminism.” performing a critical. these theoretical perspectives have brought about profound changes in composition’s selfdefinition and sense of purpose. largely misunderstood role by those who see it as limited to the correction of students’ grammar. As in literary study. as a complex network of interweaving social. In the first half of the 20th century. the transmission of the cultural heritage. As a practical discipline. the term carried the general notion of a clever. In the Renaissance. S. HYPERTEXT. political. In its historical development. each one assuming specific responsibilities—and a heavy emphasis on repeated revisions.COMPOSTITION STUDIES intentions and purposes of the main characters encounter obstacles that must be overcome. Like rhetoric. and individual components. INTERACTIVE COMPUTER FICTION. In the 18th and 19th centuries. Its theoretical character has been complicated by the introduction of various branches of recent THEORY. computers See CYBERPUNK. critics of the time applied it to the 17th-century metaphysical poets. Here are two examples of conceits by 92 .

for I. . . Ruthven’s The Conceit (1969) offers an excellent treatment of the subject. 101 P The listing indicates that Shakespeare used the word only once. or their ingenuity. or in the complete works of a writer. and stand. Labour to admitYou. K. and now sucks thee. the speaker asks God to invade his soul like an army. The second is from one of Donne’s “Holy Sonnets. The first is from a lighthearted love poem that focuses on a flea that has bitten both lovers: Mark but this flea. Here for example is the entry for the word unaccommodated in The Harvard Concordance to Shakespeare. But is captived. LR 3. in King Lear. edited by Marvin Spevack (1969): unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor. to no end. Me it sucked first. concordance An alphabetical listing. breathe. but Oh. K. and make me new. pillaging and raping a besieged town: Batter my heart. blow. I. Reason. imprison me. and mark in this. Scene 4. and seek to mend. me should defend. ExceptYou enthrall me. and would be loved fain. the foremost metaphysical poet. conceit carries a neutral connotation. Nor ever chaste. along with the immediate context. line 101. such as the Bible. exceptYou ravish me. Currently. Divorce me. shine.Your viceroy in me. and proves weak or untrue. of all the words in a work. Act 3. like an usurped town. their purpose. And in this flea our two bloods mingled be .” mingling in powerful fashion religious devotion and sexual passion. Yet dearly I loveYou.04.CONCORDANCE John Donne. and bend Your force to break. rather than in verse. never shall be free. forYou As yet but knock. But am betrothed untoYour enemy. Take me toYou. The “P” at the end indicates that the line is in a passage written in prose. burn. untie or break that knot again. to another due. Conceits may be either good or bad depending upon their context. 93 . That I may rise. three personed God. o’erthrow me. How little that which thou deniest me is. In this conceit.

movingly recounted in poems such as “My Papa’s Waltz. in that it represented a unique experience. while inferior to philosophy. For the Wimsatt-Ransom argument. circling the bed like a shark. the validity of the term was the subject of a debate by two leading figures in NEW CRITICISM. while literature represents the universal in terms of the particular. whose book of poems Life Studies (1959) had a powerful influence on two younger poets. is indicative of the personal anguish that motivated her poetry.) An example is this painful passage from Sexton’s “Briar Rose/Sleeping Beauty”: It is not the prince at all. while Ransom. Wimsatt’s The Verbal Icon (1954) and John Crowe Ransom’s Selected Essays (1984). a practicing poet. angry. confessional poetry Name for a type of post–World War II American poetry in which the poet appears to reveal intimate details of his or her life and a fragile. Employed in the 19th century by some philosophers. (Like Plath. see W. The title of Sexton’s first book of poetry. fearful and small. suicidal revelations. To Bedlam and Part Way Back (1960). Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton.CONCRETE UNIVERSAL concrete universal The definition of literature in relation to its alleged capac- ity to represent universal concepts in terms of particular instances. the confessional form emerged in the evocation of himself as a child. 94 . Sexton also took her own life. A major practitioner of the form was Robert Lowell. it is more accessible to the average person. my father thick upon me like some sleeping jelly fish. William Wimsatt and John Crowe Ransom. In Roethke’s case. Wimsatt defended the use of the term. a collection of brilliant. but my father drunkenly bent over my bed. philosophy treats universals in universal terms. Henry’s Fate (1977). What renders the term confessional particularly appropriate are the intimations of personal guilt that pervade the work of these poets. whose alcoholism and self-destructive behavior culminated in his suicide. insisted on the singular particularity of a poem. Aristotle distinguished literature from history and from philosophy: History represents the particular in terms of the particular. See UNIVERSALITY. Thus literature is superior to history and. Other prominent poets associated with the confessional form include Theodore Roethke and John Berryman. she took her own life. proved to be prophetic: two years before their publication. Plath’s Ariel (1965). turned to the confessional form in his novel Recovery (1973) as well as in his last collection of poems. fragmented sense of self.” Berryman. K.

the conflict is usually between the HERO and the VILLAIN. judgment. In more complex works. and action. Creon) may embody the conflict between two ideas (duty to the gods vs. the result of combining variant texts to produce a single unified edition. Connecticut. such as in MELODRAMA. Modern editions of many of Shakespeare’s plays are conflated texts. similar to the CHORUS in classical drama. who became president of Yale in 1795. duty to the State). who later served as ambassador to France. such as Sophocles’ Antigone. As a group. In its simplest form. they were influenced by the English tradition of the Augustan age. and Jack Burden in Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men (1946). emotion. they never provided work of any lasting literary merit. the main conflict may lie in the opposition of the individual and his society. the examples of Pope and Swift. Most of the group lived in or near Hartford. and Joel Barlow. conflated text In TEXTUAL CRITICISM. seriously challenging the traditional view of consciousness as a dynamic combination of awareness. according to neuroscientist Steven Pinker. consciousness Recent decades have seen significant changes in the scientific study of human consciousness. the conflict between two characters (Antigone vs. confidant(e) The CHARACTER in a play or novel who is privy to the thoughts and feelings of the main character. They affected a satiric tone.CONSCIOUSNESS Karl Malkoff’s Crowell’s Handbook of Contemporary American Poetry (1973) outlines the development of the movement and the careers of the poets associated with it. Among their better-known practitioners were the poets John Trumbull. organized into a distinctive whole. Claudius) may be overshadowed by the internal conflict (Hamlet vs. despite their ideals and commitment. Finally. conflict The struggle either within or between characters that is often the basis of the PLOT of a play or story. such as Shakespeare’s Hamlet. endorsing the study of literature as a source of moral improvement. The members represented conservative political and cultural values. modern science maintains that the word mind is “ nothing but 95 . connotation See DENOTATION/CONNOTATION. as in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man (1952). the external conflict (Hamlet vs. himself). Stylistically. Examples include Horatio in Hamlet. In its place. Connecticut wits Name of a group of late 18th century American writers who attended Yale University around the time of the American Revolution. In others. Timothy Dwight.

) David Lodge’s essays on the subject are collected in Consciousness and the Novel (2002). In the dialogue created by the interaction of the consciousness and the fictional created consciousness lies a mystery that science has been unable to explain. Lodge explores various techniques in rendering consciousness. is the software to the brain’s computer. As the neurosurgeon protagonist of Ian McEwan’s novel Saturday (2005) thinks to himself. combining the interior world with a minutely detailed rendering of the objective world (see INTERIOR MONOLOGUE). .CONSONANCE the on-board computer of a robot made of tissue. “Literature is a record of human consciousness. consumption A central position of Marxist-oriented criticism maintains that capitalism creates a “culture of consumption” both for its own economic enrichment and to disguise the emptiness and discontent of BOURGEOIS life. The result is succinctly summarized in the bumper sticker that ends “He who dies with the most toys wins. consumer culture repeats the message that happiness and self-realization are epitomized in the consumption of more and more commodities. Entering into and giving life to a fictional CHARACTER are how writers go about creating the illusions of consciousness and how readers engage with and incorporate those illusions. the novelist and critic David Lodge points out that a novel. the mind is what the brain. (See also GENEVA SCHOOL. Saturday for example. The variety and ingenuity of novelists testify to the complexity of the task of a consciousness creating or. “.” James attempted this projection. James Joyce took a large step further by employing the stream of consciousness. the richest and most comprehensive we have. presumably.” He maintains that the novel offers the perfect vehicle for rendering human consciousness since reading and writing themselves are acts of imagined consciousness. .” 96 . consonance See RHYME. “cocreating” another consciousness.” Consciousness.” In response. a fact overlooked by the neuroscientist. Looking at a group of modern novels. A novelist intensely interested in representing consciousness was Henry James. for the reader. performs. who nevertheless recognized its difficulty: “To project yourself into a consciousness of a person eventually your opposite requires the audacity of genius. Using ADVERTISING as it chief tool. employing the FREE INDIRECT STYLE in which a third person narrator operates within the mind of a particular character. is a representation of consciousness. Daniel Dennett’s Consciousness Explained (1991) is a scientific study that makes reference to literary criticism. mere matter.

poem. A later form of NEW CRITICISM. a text. Thus when we refer to the “historical context” of a literary work we are in fact talking about another text. challenges the basic distinction between the text and context on the grounds that our knowledge of history comes to us as a written record. which allows for the interplay of content and form. for example. such as having the villain in a melodrama speak in an ASIDE to the audience. but this convention ultimately dies of overuse and 97 . set in 17th-century Salem. Murray Krieger’s The New Apologists for Poetry (1956) develops his idea of contextualism. argued for an approach known as “contextualism” in which the poem itself was conceived of as a “closed context” independent of the historical and social conditions in which it was produced. The subject matter of Walt Whitman’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed” is the death of Abraham Lincoln. Although some basic conventions survive through the centuries—for example. convention A traditional assumption or practice in literature or DRAMA. a term referring to the part of a statement in which a word or group of words is used. In literary study. or the circumstances within which a word is used. arguing that the Marxist analysis underrates the ingenuity of certain socioeconomic groups who reinterpret the “official story. As a result. such a convention is eventually replaced by something regarded as more realistic (the villain turns out to be the handsome “nice guy” who had befriended the hero). formulated by the critic Murray Krieger. the subject matter of a play.” A similar argument is made in connection with POPULAR CULTURE. on the other hand.CONVENTION Some feminist critics offer an alternative view. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (1953). and received by its original audience as a contemporary social comment. or received. become outmoded. The context is often regarded as essential to the meaning of such words. context also refers to the relevant historical and social conditions in which a text is written. as distinguished from its FORM. Used too often. A basic principle of modern literary criticism is that form and content are inextricably intertwined. the assumption that a first person narrator in a story is telling the truth—others. is a play written at the height of the McCarthy era. discussions of the subject matter of literary texts frequently focus on THEME. its form is an elegiac poem. context In its most common use. NEW HISTORICISM. content Traditionally in literary study. set. that is. or narrative.

counterfactual fiction Taking the principle of WILLING SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF to an extreme. operates on the what-if assumption that Germany has won World War II. The novel opens in April 1964. etc. detective stories. hallucinatory elements in life. have stressed the irrational.CONY-CATCHER is in turn replaced by another. six days before the celebration of Adolf Hitler’s 75th birthday. bedroom farces. The writer Robert Greene exposed their tricks in a series of popular cony-catching pamphlets in the 1590s. In fiction. postmodernist novels. absurd. Many conventions reflect the sense of DECORUM of a particular age. Repudiating existing conventions is characteristic of the AVANT-GARDE.) cony-catcher An ELIZABETHAN term for a con man or trickster. (See AUTO SACRAMENTAL. the feast provided the occasion for the performance of religious plays based on the Bible. auto sacramentales. One popular example. “the show about nothing. In the MIDDLE AGES. Corpus Christi (body of Christ) In Christian ritual. Thus the convention-defying credo of the dadaists “Dada Means Nothing” in time became the announced principle of the spectacularly popular sitcom Seinfeld. Shakespeare used some of the information in them to depict the cony-catching figure of Autolycus in TheWinter’s Tale. multiple narrators.” Critical also are the conventions that grow up around specific genres.” 98 .) cothurnus See BUSKIN. the audience assumes that it is viewing the action from the “fourth wall. such plays were known as MYSTERY PLAYS. for example. Conventions are necessary to all literature. counterfactual fiction asks the hypothetical question “What if?” in order to explore what might have happened if certain historical events had turned out differently. Richard Harris’s Fatherland (1992). the reader is asked to accept the point of view from which the story is told and its sequence (flashbacks. in France. a feast day in honor of the Eucharist celebrated on the Thursday following Trinity Sunday. and in Spain. Many modern breaks with convention. my name is Might-have-been. Mystères. the practice in Greek tragedy of having violent death occur offstage. and epic poems. The Author’s Note following the end of the novel concludes with an appropriate line from the poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti: “Look in my face.) In drama. beginning with the DADA movement in 1916. flash forwards. In England. for example. Inevitably one generation’s breakthroughs become a later one’s convention. since they are part of the unspoken contract between reader or audience and the literary work.” (See also WILLING SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF.

as for example. such as Jack Finney’s From Time to Time (1995). couplet In verse.” Maynard Mack’s biography Alexander Pope (1985) contains an informative account of Pope’s use of the couplet. What Ifs of American History (2000). dear friend. The master of the heroic couplet. a guide to proper behavior for aspiring courtiers. Counter-Reformation The response of the Catholic Church to the REFORMATION. All losses are restored and sorrows end. in which the hero’s attempt to prevent the sinking of the Titanic fails. Alexander Pope. a pair of contiguous lines. coup de théâtre (stroke of theater) A sudden development in the plot of a play that has a surprising or shocking effect. which invite speculation about future events. thus leaving history unaltered. is an anthology of essays by historians exploring alternative history. Each of Shakespeare’s sonnets concludes with a heroic couplet.“it whispers through the trees.COURTESY BOOKS Counterfactual fiction differs from those novels. 1561). Butterfly (1987). A more recent example of the counterfactual genre is Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America (2004). edited by Robert Cowley. was also capable of mocking its hackneyed use: Where’er you find “the coolingWestern breeze. largely found within the SCIENCE FICTION genre. often rhymed. The witty exchanges between Beatrice and Benedick in 99 . A recent example is the revelation of the gender of the mistress in David Hwang’s M. At their best. HEROIC COUPLET is the name given to a rhymed couplet written in iambic pentameter (see IAMB). the books examined fundamental ethical questions as well as conventional behavior. which explores the impact of the election of Charles Lindbergh as president in 1940 on the Jewish-American family of a young boy named Philip Roth. as in this example from Sonnet 30: But if the while I think on thee. It also differs from time-travel novels. such as the possible consequences of NUCLEAR WAR.” In the next line. in Baldassare Castiglione’s The Courtier (trans. courtesy books In the RENAISSANCE.

COURTLY LOVE Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing may be based. The term itself was coined in 1883 by the French medieval scholar Gaston Paris and developed by C. a young knight such as Lancelot or Tristan. who vows total obedience to his lady. Thus perfect devotion ennobles the lovers. reflected in medieval lyric poetry and romances. courtly love An attitude toward love. erotic love is the equal of divine love. The religious language of this description suggests that. Courtly love represented the first expression of the belief that sexuality is the consequence. see CONFLICT. See LOVE. usually a married woman. and a corresponding code of behavior. and that sexual love is a noble passion that enhances and enriches the lives of those who experience it. the moment when the opposition of conflicting forces is most intense. there is general agreement that the ideals of courtly love had a powerful influence on the literature of the Renaissance and on 19th-century ROMANTICISM. on passages from The Courtier. The crisis may be external. courtly love came to exert an extraordinary influence throughout Western Europe. Criterion. Although there is some dispute about the validity of the Paris-Lewis definition of the term. From there it spread throughout France and many other European countries. the human approximation of the infinitely greater love that God exhibits for all things. whose most famous poem The Waste Land 100 . or it may be internal. rendering them faithful servants of the god of love. not the cause. Lewis in his The Allegory of Love (1938). in the courtly love tradition. Eliot. in the poetry of the TROUBADOURS and TROUVÈRES. Courtly love developed in the late 11th century in the courts of southern France. S. Edited by T. Irving Singer’s The Nature of Love. This passion for an unattainable ideal throws the lover into emotional torments which he transcends by noble deeds done in his lady’s name. In both its social and literary guises. A representative model of courtly love is the male lover. it may be more accurate to say that erotic love here emerges as analogous to religious love. of love. For related terms. S. 2 (1984) contains a discussion of courtly love and its relation to the later Romantic conception. when a character is forced to make a decisive choice. The An influential literary quarterly published in England from 1922 to 1939. A celebrated example of the form is Chrétien de Troyes’ romance Lancelot. Vol. whom he idealizes. crisis A decisive point in a story or play. to some extent. or The Knight of the Cart (late 12th century) and Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte D’Arthur (1485).

In some cases an individual may function both as a general reviewer and as a scholarly critic. but related to. (For an account of this field. In this type of criticism. the emphasis falls on interpretation rather than evaluation. published by university presses. and the American Alfred Kazin are prolific reviewers and at the same time scholars who have published book-length studies on specialized subjects. writing in newspapers. and playwrights who regularly write critical essays and reviews. magazines. whose primary purpose is to judge the nature and value of a recent or recently reissued work. critical theory See FRANKFURT SCHOOL. crux refers to a puzzling word or phrase that has given rise to a variety of interpretations. films and plays. and publications such as The NewYork Times Book Review. such as Virginia Woolf and William Butler Yeats. the journal helped to propagate the principles of NEW CRITICISM. which are read by other specialists. or essays in specialized journals. and Susan Sontag. novelists. Gore Vidal. while also offering an interpretation of the work. The second group of practical critics are usually university-connected academics who write book-length studies. The audience for such reviewers are potential readers or viewers seeking some guidance to the work under consideration. John Milton’s elegy “Lycidas” contains 101 . although the simple selection of the work as a subject implies a positive sense of its value. including the novelist Marcel Proust and the poet Paul Valéry. the Irish critic Dennis Donoghue. see THEORY. crux In literary scholarship. which usually deals with a specific work or writer. and the playwright Tom Stoppard. literary theory is practical criticism. criticism A general term for the analysis. The first is reviewers of books. Included among this group are the novelists John Updike. The Criterion provided an outlet in English translation for the work of several outstanding Europeans. and evaluation of LITERATURE. interpretation. Another class of critics and reviewers are practicing poets. but those associated with the CANON. Practical critics may be divided into two groups.CRUX appeared in its first issue. which has assumed increasing importance in literary study since the 1960s. The English critic Frank Kermode. In addition to publishing leading English and Irish writers. These critics also function as reviewers of one another’s work in specialized journals. One aspect of criticism—the examination of its underlying assumptions and the presentation of its principles and procedures—is characterized as literary theory. or less important works that nevertheless throw light on some aspect of literary history. The subjects of these studies are generally not new works.) Distinct from.

culture is considered the “background” to literature.CULTURAL CRITICISM a celebrated example: While attacking the Anglican clergy and outlawed Jesuit priests covertly proselytizing in England. Others focus on the negotiations these “culture industries” engage in with their audiences as they search for a successful “format. the aim is to call into question the distinction between the TEXT and the CONTEXT by suggesting that the text and context are intimately entwined and to offer a critique of prevailing assumptions as to what constitutes “culture. others have thought it to be a reference to the two houses of Parliament. . Examining popular cultural forms and their interaction with their audience. . the betrayer of CHRIST. assuming the line refers to Judas. Sometimes a crux arises from differences between two early versions of a work. renders the line “Like the base Judean. In cultural criticism. In traditional literary studies.” Some editors. arguing for the quarto reading. important but subsidiary to the text itself. The movement originated in Great Britain in the 1960s and spread to the United States in the 1980s. However. others. Probably a compositor in the print shop inverted the second letter since the i and j were used interchangeably.” Still others look at the uses to which individuals within the audience put these forms. cultural studies looks at these various forms as “texts” to be analyzed in a manner usually reserved for serious or “high” literature. cultural studies critics assume a variety of approaches. the 1622 quarto version of the play reads. . cite a legend. this explanation still leaves open the question as to which reading reflects Shakespeare’s final intention. but a definitive answer continues to elude them.) cultural studies An interdisciplinary movement that focuses on POPULAR CULTURE. or record companies as they produce their products. choose Judean. placing it in a socio-historical context. movie studios. In the last scene of Shakespeare’s Othello. threw a pearl away. such as publishers. which was printed from the quarto. conceived either collectively or individually. . Taking as its province all forms of cultural expression from advertising to RAP lyrics.” while the 1623 FIRST FOLIO version.” Some scholars have suggested that the engine in question is an axe or sword. cultural criticism An interdisciplinary approach that looks at literature as the expression of a particular national or cultural tradition.” (See NEW HISTORICISM. the poet suggests a form of retaliation: “But that two handed engine at the door/ Stands ready to smite once and will smite no more. and the same font would have been used for both n and u. Some choose to analyze the practices of institutions. threw a pearl away . 102 . “Like the base Indian. .

” cut In film. The French film director Jean-Luc Godard anticipated the form in his 1965 film Alphaville. They argue that the distinction between high and popular culture is at heart political. The term is an amalgam of cybernetics. whose novel Neuromancer (1984) established the form. share a Leftist or Marxist orientation. curtal sonnet Term coined by the Victorian poet Gerard Manley Hopkins to describe a sonnet of 10 and a half lines rather than the 14 lines of the usual sonnet.CYBERPUNK The majority of these critics. implying their equal status as cultural objects. In the editing of a film. associated with a founding father of the movement. for example. As a consequence. This political orientation. with the tenets of POSTSTRUCTURALISM. a shift from a medium close-up (the human figure seen from the chest up) to a close-up (the human figure seen from the neck up). has combined. Raymond Williams. particularly those in Great Britain. A curtal sonnet contains a sestet (rhyming abcabc) followed by a four-½ QUATRAIN (dbcde). as in Hopkins’s celebrated poem “Pied Beauty. cut refers to the practice of splicing two shots together. the movement from one SHOT to another. Carey Nelson. a structuralist principle that critiques the traditional preference for high over popular culture. Idoru (1996). This connection has produced yet another approach—the use of linguistics and semiotics to analyze popular culture and the distinction between “high” and “popular” culture in terms of BINARY OPPOSITION. Alpha 60. cyberpunk A form of SCIENCE FICTION in which the world of high-tech com- puter networks (cyberspace) dominates life in the near-future. His more recent work. Raymond Williams’s Culture and Society (1958) and Richard Hoggart’s The Uses of Literacy (1957) are two of the founding works of the movement. and punk. in which the villain rules intergalactic space through his computer. the youth culture phenomenon characterized by angry rejection of the norms of traditional behavior. explores the nature of stardom or celebrity in a world in which technology has effaced the line between the virtual and the real. and Paula Treichler is a wide-ranging anthology of writing in the field. the science that links control processes in human and electronic systems. 103 . set in Tokyo in the 21st century. The leading figure in the genre is William Gibson. designed to reinforce traditional class structures within society. not always harmoniously. a recent development in cultural studies has been the inclusion of both high and popular culture. Cultural Studies (1992) edited by Lawrence Grossberg.

The medieval MYSTERY PLAYS. who identified the strength of the individual will and the virtue of self-control as the ultimate good. The adjective cynical has often been applied to writers who evoke a dark. See also SAGA.).C.CYCLE cycle A group of poems. the author of The Devil’s Dictionary (1906). 104 . satiric view of human nature. particularly the belief in the essential goodness of human beings. cynics Originally a group of Greek philosophers (fifth century B. the cynics set themselves up against the accepted beliefs of their society. The narratives of the CHANSON DE GESTE and the ARTHURIAN LEGEND are other medieval romance cycles. plays. hero. such as Jonathan Swift and Ambrose Bierce. or novels that share a common theme. or era. linked by their common biblical source. are an example of a dramatic cycle. In their emphasis on individualism.

or in the following example by Alfred. The movement began in Zurich in 1916.ååå d å dactyl A metrical foot consisting of one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables. It flourished until 1923. and Art (1984) provides a historical and analytical view. Though dada produced little or no memorable literary work. the artists Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp. standing for the principle that the gratuitous. attracting among its adherents the sculptor Hans Arp. and the writers Jean Cocteau. “DADA MEANS NOTHING”—nothing. Breton was to lead the break with dada that resulted in the formation of SURREALISM in 1924. In attacking the traditional hierarchy of values based on reason and logic. According to its founder. in this context. Louis Aragon. unconditioned element in life is the true source of freedom and creativity. the depiction of a procession in which the figure of a skeleton. John Erickson’s Dada: Performance. and André Breton. the movement made an important contribution to the modern conception of literature. the composer Erik Satie. Manuel Grossman’s Dada (1971) considers the movement’s history and influence. leads a group of 105 . as in the word courtesy. deliberate nonsense. Lord Tennyson: ‚˘ ˘ ‚ ˘ ˘ ‚ Into the valley of death ‚ ˘ ˘ ‚ ˘ Rode the six hundred dada A movement of writers and artists that rejected conventional modes of art and thought in favor of consciously cultivated. the name dada (it means “hobby horse”) selected randomly from the dictionary. representing death. Poetry. dance of death (danse macabre) In art and literature. Tristan Tzara. dada helped to free the modern artist from the restrictions of past conventions and to unlock the power of the UNCONSCIOUS. irrational.

Charles Dickens. The image. 106 . is powerfully reenacted in Ingmar Bergman’s film The Seventh Seal (1956). Johan Huizinga’s classic study The Waning of the Middle Ages (1924) provides a vivid account of the “death dance. as Levine suggests.DARWINISM people to their graves. “pervasively imperfect. which argued that life is governed by the principle of “survival of the fittest. . who struggles to discover the connection of biological fact to human morality. “Being there” underscores the fact that human consciousness is always “situated.” Darwinism The ideas growing out of the findings of Charles Darwin in his On the Origin of Species (1859). the concept supports the view that the meaning of a literary work emerges from the exchange between reader and text. and Anthony Trollope. not revolution. introducing the threatening idea that chance.” that evolution favors the species best equipped to survive in a given environment. is contradicted particularly in his novel Under Western Eyes (1911). Darwin’s evolutionary theory burst upon the 19th century with explosive force. a recurrent feature of medieval art and literature. particularly in Darwin’s native England. dasein A term used by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger to describe the distinctively human way of being in the world. In literature. who. to reveal a world prolific and dynamic in the production of endless and sometimes grotesque varieties of life”. Allusions to the dance appear in Goethe’s Faust (1808).” George Levine’s analysis appears in his Darwin among the Novelists (1988). in the words of the critic George Levine.” and Heidegger employs it to avoid the notion—implicit in terms like “self ” or “man”—of an isolated private entity set off from the objective world. Among these were George Eliot. There. Levine maintains. the general political assumption that Darwinism supports evolution. and Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1902).” always a consciousness of something. . This conception forms an important principle of EXISTENTIALISM. Dasein literally means “being there. played a major role in the plot. The theory led to a wide range of social. His theory offered an explanatory narrative that gave society a new way to conceive of human history. He also maintained that a literal interpretation of the Bible does not accord with the biological facts concerning the origins of life. who shares with Darwin a view of the world.” In the case of Joseph Conrad. and cultural implications that offered fertile soil for the imagination of Victorian novelists and poets. “Conrad takes his Darwinian reality as evidence that revolution is everywhere and inevitable. rather than design. Bryon’s Don Juan (1819–24). political. “reads Darwin within a fully comic vision .

death is most prominent in TRAGEDY. For external evidence they examine records and writings of the period that might contain a reference to the text. To that end they collect external and internal evidence. An example of the latter is the reference by the Gatekeeper in Macbeth to “the equivocator that lies like the fiend. What makes death specifically tragic in these 107 . poses problems for scholars interested in his development as a playwright. and a terminus ad quem. and returned on September 28. man is the greatest wonder of the world. The other half did not appear in print until the FIRST FOLIO of 1623. Internal evidence relies on stylistic features or allusions in the text to contemporary events. 1599. death As a literary theme. “only against death has he secured no refuge. The scholarly approach to dating a literary text is to establish a terminus a quo. In 1774 the scholar Edmund Malone published An Attempt to Determine the Order in Which Shakespeare’s Plays Were Written. seven years after his death. The chronology of Shakespeare’s plays. although not in the order in which they were written. death is the inevitable limit to the portion of life allotted at one’s birth. Richard Altick’s The Art of Literary Research (3rd ed. the act of dying takes place offstage.” This is an allusion to the trial of the conspirators to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. In Greek tragedy. Since that time.” Ironically. Another example is the reference to the impending return of the earl of Essex from Ireland in the Prologue to Henry V. a point before which the text could not have been written. in COMEDY. who has accomplished many marvelous feats. Dead Sea scrolls See QUMRAM MANUSCRIPTS. the obstacle that can never be overcome. although mortality occupies a central role in classical tragedy. One half of his plays were printed in his lifetime. beginning with the Henry VI plays around 1589 and concluding with Henry VIII in 1613. scholars have slowly formed a general picture of Shakespeare’s career. 1981) summarizes the subject succinctly. for example. As a celebrated ODE in Sophocles’ Antigone expresses it. Essex left England for Ireland on March 27. Shakespeare must have written the lines in that Prologue within those dates. 1599. implicitly at least.DEATH date of a literary text Although in the majority of cases the date of a literary text is equated with the date of its first publication. after which it could not have been written. although it also plays a central role in LYRIC and NARRATIVE forms and even. the date becomes more problematic when dealing with works written before the invention of the printing press or even later in DRAMA when plays might be performed years before publication.

a martyr to philosophical inquiry. death was less important as a fact in itself than as the end of the opportunity for salvation. Christina and Dante Rossetti.” The Renaissance also saw the development of the association of death with sexual LOVE. whose mournful elegies achieved a vogue in the late 18th century. The essays of Montaigne. womblike union with the mother. the death wish. and Algernon Swinburne.DEATH plays is its violent or suicidal character as opposed to.” articulated the need to confront one’s own death not in the context of an afterlife. the representation of the death of Socrates in Plato’s Phaedo. With the advent of ROMANTICISM the obsession with the theme of mortality continued. or perhaps rooted. sexual love. Montaigne’s influence is powerfully present in the soliloquies of Prince Hamlet. and thanatos. This association is evident in the poetry of Alfred. Death was familiar. and collective. in which the pun on “die” as a reference to orgasm (echoed in the French term le petit mort) suggests the intimate relationship of eros. and in the love poems of John Donne. With the Renaissance. in the desire for the unindividuated. in which Death is represented as Romeo’s rival for the love of Juliet. liebestod). perhaps a residue of religious guilt. His death stands as a model of human dignity and control in facing one’s end. whose elegy on the death of John Keats (Adonais. but in his later years Yeats celebrates heroic freedom over death in the famous lines from his epitaph poem “Under Ben Bulben”: 108 . Within the medieval Christian view. Emily Dickinson. The association of love and death is evident in romantic tragedies such as Romeo and Juliet. notably in the poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley. as Freud has suggested. The love/death connection (in German. particularly “That to Philosophize is to Learn How to Die. The classical tragic view was fundamentally altered in the West by the emphasis in Christianity on the immortality of the soul. but instead within the fabric of one’s daily existence. 1821) contains a prophetic vision of his own death. assumes a major role in the literature of the period. the great leveler that led kings and beggars. This tradition continued in the early work of William Butler Yeats. dies cheerfully. hands linked together. universal.” the aesthetic that pairs death with beauty. accepting the unjust death penalty imposed upon him by the Athenian court. The poetic infatuation with death achieved an even greater degree of intensity in the movement known as the GRAVEYARD SCHOOL. in its DANCE OF DEATH. Lord Tennyson. say. Shelley’s poems represented what the critic Mario Praz has called the “Romantic agony. whose reflections in Shakespeare’s play can be seen as a process of “learning how to die. The Phaedo describes how Socrates. the growing sense of individualism revived the pre-Christian sense of death as the end of individual existence.

the symbols of love and religion. in the death-haunted plays and novels of Samuel Beckett. notably in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (1989).DECADENCE Cast a cold eye On life. decadence An aspect of the ART FOR ART’S SAKE movement. As adapted in the MIDDLE AGES. the contest itself. Horseman. Benjamin Kurtz’s The Pursuit of Death (1930) on Shelley. all in the name of achieving a distinctive artistic vision. some- times allegorized. The theme reappears in the CONFESSIONAL POETRY of Sylvia Plath. Other distinguished renderings of death and dying include Thomas Mann’s novella Death in Venice (1912) and James Joyce’s short story “The Dead” (1916). The form was adapted to drama in Henry Medwall’s Fulgens and Lucrece (1490–1500). Philippe Ariès’s The Hour of Our Death (1981) offers a social history. 109 . In English literature. pass by. while Luchino Visconti’s Death in Venice (1971) and John Huston’s The Dead (1987) are memorable film versions of the Mann and Joyce stories. 1220). By general consent the greatest rendering of dying in modern literature is Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilych (1886). and Johan Ramazani’s Yeats and the Poetry of Death (1990) are excellent individual studies. the artist should cultivate his senses and reject that which is “natural. and in the literature of AIDS. while Sherwin Nuland’s How We Die (1994) examines the subject from a contemporary physician’s point of view. Distinguished film treatments of the theme include Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal (1956) and Cries and Whispers (1973) and Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru (1960). At such a time. including sexual deviation and drug use. considered the first secular play in English. and that the artist should experiment with new sensations. a description of the background of the dispute. often cited as the pre-eminent example of literary EXISTENTIALISM. the best known examples are The Owl and the Nightingale (c. Adherents of decadence held that art should be artificial. débat A form of dialogue in medieval literature in which two figures. in which two birds. engage in a verbal contest. the movement maintained. maintaining the view that late 19th-century civilization was in a state of decay comparable to the last years of the Roman Empire. on death. The Eclogues were PASTORAL poems featuring song contests among shepherds. and the appeal to a judge. in which suicide is a major theme.” both in the ecological and moral sense of the word. the débat form consisted of an introduction. debate their respective values. The classical source of the form are the ECLOGUES of Theocritus and Virgil.

they helped to create an atmosphere in which deconstruction became the center of an intense controversy. at one time on the periphery of the group. if highly complex. One example might be “the human spirit. legal studies. Richard Gilman’s Decadence:The Strange Life of an Epithet (1979) traces the use and misuse of the term over the past two centuries.DECENTER The French SYMBOLIST poets. In general the American deconstructionist movement is not a theory but a method—partly philosophical. In this respect.” deconstruction also has a more precise. reference. These centers appear as self-evident truths that lie outside the system of language. as in others. and Stéphane Mallarmé. deconstruction is a fundamental critique of certain intellectual assumptions that underlie Western thinking. as do such terms as “God” or “consciousness. language is rooted not in a positive relation of words to the world but instead in a relation of differences of one element to the other. it focuses on the inherent. and. Hillis Miller. In other words.” that forms the basis of meaning. Western thought and culture have been organized around unacknowledged presuppositions—“centers”—that both structure and restrict meaning. Harold Bloom. and by Oscar Wilde. Derrida calls this belief LOGOCENTRISM. by the differences between one word and another. deconstruction Although in popular use a term synonymous with “destruc- tion” or “debunking. Language does not reveal things as they are. deconstruction is directly 110 . particularly Charles Baudelaire. and Lionel Johnson. whose novel The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891) captures the spirit of the movement. They were taken up in England by poets such as Arthur Symons. partly literary—of reading texts. but by absence—that is.” a phrase that implies the existence of transcendent reality. According to Derrida. decenter See CENTER/DECENTER. philosophy. Adapting and applying some of Derrida’s ideas. Against the logocentric conception Derrida argues that meaning is not generated by some extralinguistic presence. Geoffrey Hartman. Ernest Dowson. As formulated by the French thinker Jacques Derrida. J. Paul Verlaine. In America in the 1970s these ideas were taken up and applied to literature by the “Yale critics”: Paul De Man. Thus it is difference (not the traditional “identity” of the word and its object) that distinguishes language. were the original sources for these ideas. the assumption of an ultimate ground or referent for language. internal contradictions in language and interpretation. Meaning is a function of the fact that our pictures of reality are the products of these linguistically derived categories. and more recently. As used in literary criticism. it imposes categories on the world.

The sense of defer applies to the belief that meaning is never really present but always deferred because the “meaning” is simply more words leading to a cycle of words about words. many of deconstruction’s ideas—particularly those related to the “decentering” of the subject and the rejection of the idea of a single meaning—have been incorporated into the mainstream of academic critical thinking.” Central to this method is Derrida’s concept of différance. Thus the text is revealed as a house divided against itself. the point at which the text’s contradictory meanings are shown to be irreconcilable. Seventeenth-century neoclassicists considered decorum to be a crucial barometer of good literature. to accepted social standards. Its decline has been hastened by the revelation that its chief American practitioner. heroic style and that a noble character should speak in verse while a peasant’s speech would be in prose.” that is. or empty nihilism. . and. in Hartman’s words. a word he coins to distinguish it from simple différence (difference). 111 . see David Lehman’s Signs of the Times: Deconstruction and the Fall of Paul De Man (1991). deconstruction—in the narrower sense of a critical school—appears to be on the wane. Derrida employs the word in both senses of the French verb différer. which means both to differ and to defer. Attacked as an irresponsible game. The sense of “differ” in the term refers to Saussure’s view that the meaning of words is a function of differences and that these differences are “negative. Paul De Man.DECORUM opposed to STRUCTURALISM. For example. deconstructionists scrutinize the contradictory elements in a text until they reach an APORIA (an impasse). For a critical view of the general position. But deconstructionists aim. As a result. . some critics of deconstruction have made efforts to link deconstructive criticism to totalitarian thought. an important critical term calling for conformity to literary convention within GENRES. The result is an illustration of the indeterminacy of meaning. Operating from this principle. a denial of common sense. “to see through literary forms to the way language . much in the manner of the “close reading” approach that characterized NEW CRITICISM. But despite its decline. makes or breaks meaning. decorum dictated that an EPIC had to be written in the grand. which cannot stand close scrutiny. in the representation of characters. decorum In the 16th and 17th centuries. had written some 200 articles for two proNazi newspapers during the German occupation of Belgium in World War II. Vincent Leitch’s Deconstructive Criticism: An Advanced Introduction (1983) examines the literary movement. The deconstructive method zeroes in on a specific text. The question of whether that influence will spread outside the universities into the world of general readers remains open. which attempts to discover the underlying grammar of literature. distinguished by what they are not.

edited by Lee Lemon and Marion Rees. Robert Scholes discusses the concept in his Structuralism and Literature (1974). Some recent critics have argued that science fiction. and employing unusual imagery. Deists argued that although God had initiated “the great clock” of the universe. invoking the principle of decorum. exemplifies the doctrine of defamiliarization. largely in England and France. The deep focus lens was developed in the late 1930s and first used with stunning success by the cinematographer Gregg Toland in Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane (1941). implicitly. FOREGROUNDING dialects and slang in formal poetry. but his Essay on Man (“Know then thyself. Influenced by the discoveries of scientists from Copernicus to Newton. the inclusion of objects both close to and far from the cam- era in the same shot without loss of focus. but not with the beliefs of specific religions that claim truth on the basis of divine revelation. Deism held that belief in God was consistent with human reason. Pope himself remained a practicing Christian all his life. as is James Thompson’s The Seasons (1730). presume not God to scan/The proper study of Mankind is Man. deep focus In film.DEEP FOCUS Although the principle seems to have disappeared in the less formal literary and social atmosphere of modern times. 112 . the Deity had withdrawn from any involvement with it or with the activities of human kind. The term (in Russian ostranenie) was coined by the critic Viktor Shklovsky. who argued that in disrupting our everyday sense of what is real and important. examples occasionally emerge: some critics and audiences who believe performers in a Shakespearean play should speak the lines with a traditional upper-class British accent are. Viktor Shklovsky’s essay appears in Russian Formalist Criticism: Four Essays in Criticism (1965). deism A philosophical and religious position that developed. art puts us in touch with our deepest experiences. Thus most Deists rejected Christianity’s claim that the BIBLE contained the revealed word of God. defamiliarization A principle associated with RUSSIAN FORMALISM which asserts that one function of art and literature is to disturb its audience’s routine perception of reality. Deistic elements appear in the poetry of Alexander Pope. with its freedom from the constraints of representing the probable and the realistic. The techniques of defamiliarization include placing characters and events in unfamiliar contexts. in the 18th century as part of the ENLIGHTENMENT.”) is considered a deistic poem. In literature.

and hovering in the rigging of 113 . In a more general sense the term refers to any attempt to look for an underlying meaning in a mythological story. TIVE description In fiction. fog down the river. dictionary definition of a word and the associations it has acquired in use. fog lying out on the yards. for example. the best known deistic work is Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason (1794–95). Fog up the river.DESCRIPTION In American literature. For example. particularly in poetry. Connotations of words are reflections of the inherent RHETORIC of language and play a critical role in literature. the connotation of the word foot suggests something at the bottom. for example. Bultmann’s New Testament and Mythology (1953) contains the most complete account of his position. demythologizing The argument. while its connotation suggests one whose primary interest is personal or partisan gain. denotation/connotation A pair of terms referring to the distinction between the literal. . Sigmund Freud’s reading of the story of Oedipus as an instance of the OEDIPAL COMPLEX. In formulating his position. that most of the New Testament is beyond comprehension for a modern audience because it is expressed in the language of MYTH. following its climax. where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping . The denouement normally occurs close to the end of the story. Bultmann acknowledged his debt to EXISTENTIALISM. . or footnote. but in accepting it as a symbolic act with implications for all humanity. It is the connotation of a word that leads back to its use as a METAPHOR. associated with the German biblical scholar Rudolph Bultmann. For example. not in the literal acceptance of Christ’s resurrection. as propounded by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger. One exception is the traditional DETECTIVE STORY in which the climax (the revelation of the murderer’s identity) and the denouement (the clarification of the plot) often occur simultaneously. denouement The clarification of the complications of the PLOT in a NARRA- or DRAMA. the denotation of the word politician is one who is professionally engaged in politics. the words that describe the physical aspects of a story and its characters. which leads to its metaphoric use in foot of the hill. where it flows among green aits and melons. The opening of Charles Dickens’s Bleak House (1852) includes a memorable example of descriptive writing: Fog everywhere. Bultmann maintained that the real meaning of the Gospels lay.

114 . he also created. servant. who made his first appearance in 1887 in A Study in Scarlet. in Dr. characterized by the philosopher Nietzche as “the will to power. secretary to provide comic relief. framed in masculine terms. rooted in self-preservation or in the need to see oneself reflected in another and to have that recognition be reciprocated. Not only did Conan Doyle establish the prototype of the detective who induces evidence by his extraordinary powers of observation.” In the religious view. 2nd edition. a number of plausible suspects. The earliest example of the genre is thought to be Edgar Allan Poe’s Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841). union with God requires not will.) For the psychoanalytic theorist Jacques Lacan. And hard by Temple Bar near Lincoln’s Inn Hall. Watson. a detective who employs rigorous logic and creative intuition in solving the crime. The basic formula (upon which an infinite number of variations may be spun) consists of a murder or disappearance that leads to additional murders. and meaning. either a policeman or a “private eye” (private investigator). a sidekick. edited by Frank Lentricchia and Thomas McLaughlin (1995). but the surrender of will. the sidekick whose ordinary intelligence serves as a foil for the detective’s superior intellect. has made this sense of desire an important focus of recent FEMINIST CRITICISM. a cluster of baffling clues that invites the reader to match wits with the detective. if the latter. detective story A type of fiction in which a crime or series of crimes is solved by a detective. frequently viewed as underlying romantic LOVE. in the sense of “wanting” or “needing. desire may be seen as a psychological rather than spiritual process. desire A term that. desire and language are intertwined in the longing for wholeness. at the very heart of the fog. spouse. A contemporary analysis of the term is Judith Butler’s “Desire” in Critical Terms for Literary Study. The latter impulse. a longing that can never be fulfilled. See PSYCHOANALYTICAL CRITICISM. The feminist critique argues that this and other conceptions of desire or love are essentially phallocentric. (See PHALLOCENTRISM. either an amateur or a professional. in the case of the private eye. on the other hand. fog drooping on the gunwales of barges and small boats. and. sanity. or. In the nonreligious view desire has been seen as resting upon the aim of becoming a god. The most celebrated of all fictional detectives is undoubtedly A.” implies a lack or emptiness that seeks fulfillment. Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Alternatively. sits the Lord High Chancellor in his High Court of Chancery. In the Western religious tradition desire represents a restlessness rooted in a craving for union with God.DESIRE great ships.

and surprise endings. S. 1911). The American form features the private eye figure pioneered by Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Ngaio Marsh’s Superintendent Alleyn. In response to the demand for more realism. misleading clues. Also highly successful as films. The Thin Man series popularized the light comic version of the form.DETECTIVE STORY Notable among the immediate descendants of Sherlock Holmes is G. authors and filmmakers have explored the world of the working police officer in a format known as the “police procedural. Both The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep were made into successful films starring—not coincidentally—Humphrey Bogart as Spade and Marlowe. These sleuths operate within worlds distinguished by ingenious plots. In the 20th century the detective story has taken two distinctive paths. who added a theological dimension to the form. Among television series. a cool. An outstanding British contribution is the Prime Suspect series (1992–2004). the period known as the golden age of mystery writing. who dominated the genre in the ’20s and ’30s. Margery Allingham’s Albert Campion. the major development in detective fiction has been the shift to the police precinct. Dragnet (1952–59). K. Among the celebrated detectives of the time: Christie’s Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. 1930) and Chandler’s Philip Marlowe (The Big Sleep. Chesterton’s Father Brown (The Innocence of Father Brown. Van Dine’s Philo Vance. Since World War II. Hammett’s Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon. Hill Street Blues (1981–87). 1939) established a distinctively American hero: the hardboiled private detective. Another outstanding 115 . a sophisticated couple who solve murders whenever they are not drinking martinis in elegant restaurants. although there have been notable contributions from the United States and France. and NYPD Blue (1993–2004) were successful examples of the precinct form.” In fiction the best known examples are Ed McBain’s 87th precinct novels and Joseph Wambaugh’s studies of the Los Angeles police department. The other strain of 20th-century detective fiction is identified largely with England. sceptical-borderingon-cynical veteran of life who holds fast to a private code of honor despite the temptations of money and love. The greatest name in this tradition is Agatha Christie. In a lighter vein. Notable films with a precinct orientation include Jules Dassin’s Naked City (1948) and Dennis Hopper’s Colors (1987). S. 1934). featuring Helen Mirren as the harried and harassed chief inspector. The critical and popular success of these films contributed profoundly to the formation of FILM NOIR and to memorable recreations of the genre in Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (1974) and Carl Franklin’s adaptation of Walter Mosely’s Devil in a Blue Dress (1996). and Georges Simenon’s Inspector Maigret. Dorothy Sayers’s Lord Peter Wimsey. Hammett also created the team of Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man.

116 . The A quarterly American journal advocating the principles of TRANSCENDENTALISM published from 1840 to 1844. although one that issues. while much of modern THEORY implies a linguistic determinism. By extension. the belief that God has predetermined the fate of each individual soul (see CALVINISM). who advocated the synchronic approach to the study of language. For a survey of 20th-century American detective fiction see Robert A. Nietzel’s Private Eyes: One Hundred and One Knights (1985).-fate in the analysis of TRAGEDY. The god’s appearance usually served to untangle the plot and rescue the hero. Its fi rst editor was the early feminist Margaret Fuller. including those of human history. diachronic/synchronic Two terms designed to reflect two approaches to the study of language. deus ex machina (the god from the machine) In classical drama a mechanical device was used to lower a god onto the stage at a critical point in the play. H. are determined by the conditions that produced them. who contributed his own “Lectures on the Times” as a regular feature of the journal. determinism The view that all events in the universe. In the 19th century scientific determinism played a key role in the formulation of NATURALISM. The terms are associated with the French linguist Ferdinand de Saussure. while the synchronic approach analyzes a language system at a given moment in its history. Dial. the term refers to any arbitrary plot device that resolves a dilemma in a story or play. To look at language diachronically is to study its historical development. Baker and Michael T. Auden’s “The Guilty Vicarage” in his The Dyer’s Hand (1962). The English scene is surveyed in Julian Symons’s The Detective Story in Britain (1978). In theology the view is expressed as predestination. in DECONSTRUCTION at least. The Singing Detective (1987). in a form of free PLAY. a position that had a significant impact on the development of STRUCTURALISM.DETERMINISM television contribution is Dennis Potter’s lovingly ironic homage to the genre. In literary studies the issues implied by determinism have been expressed in the debate over the relative importance of character-vs. She was succeeded as editor by Ralph Waldo Emerson. In the 20th century the idea of free choice as the defining characteristic of human existence is a central principle of EXISTENTIALISM. A classic study of the genre is W. The appearance of the cavalry at a critical point in a WESTERN film is an example of deus ex machina.

the novelists D. Included within this medley are the voices of authority (such as the author’s).” dialectic In philosophy.DIALOGISM A second Dial. Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall were among the artistic contributors. Hegel. but they are consistently undermined. who employed it to point up the inner contradictions of the capitalist system. in which opposites are united and thus transformed into a new. called a synthesis. contradicted.” Within this abstract conception. is an excerpt from Stephen Crane’s rendering of a New York accent in Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893): “Wid a home like dis an’ a mudder like me. became a distinguished literary and artistic journal. and after 1918 as a monthly. later bi-weekly. Cummings and T. In his view. Bakhtin explored particular forms of dialogism exhibited in the NOVEL. first as a monthly. others with the author.) dialogism A term associated with the work of the Russian theorist Mikhail Bakhtin. In rendering a specific accent. Hegel’s theory was in turn adapted by Karl Marx. it is the term for the process that governs historical change. blatantly oriented toward a future answer word: it provokes an answer. she went teh d’bad.” only a continuing dialogue. H. As used by the 19th-century German philosopher G. (See MARXIST CRITICISM. in which there is no “last word. who maintained that any specific utterance is a contribution to a continuing human dialogue—that is. Among its contributors were the poets E. the art of arriving at the truth through debate or discussion. S. E. which depict Socrates’ skillful questioning. Lawrence and Thomas Mann. it is both a response to past uses of the language and an occasion for future uses: “The word in living conversation is directly. or accent. and the critic Kenneth Burke. some associated with the characters. anticipates it and structures itself in the answer’s direction. for example. published from 1890–1929. All these voices interact and collide to create a polyglot universe. and still others apparently unconnected and free floating. Eliot. which Bakhtin characterizes as CARNIVAL. and enriched by the voices of subversion. dialect A particular variation of a language spoken by members of a class or region. higher form. A dialect may include a distinct vocabulary. the novel is inherently dialogic in that it incorporates a broad range of human voices. 117 . are classic examples of the method. many contemporary writers attempt to capture its distinctive features without resorting to the distracting practice of phonic spelling. W. Here. syntax. conversational style. which was a feature of dialect writing around the turn of the century. F. The dialogues of Plato.

Valéry’s L’Idée Fixe (1932) consists of imagined dialogues with 20th-century physicists in an attempt to apply their ideas to the mind of the individual. that reflects the increasing dominance of literate over oral forms of literature (see ORALITY/LITERACY). Michael Holquist. David Lodge’s After Bakhtin (1990) offers a highly readable application of Bakhtin’s theories. dialogue has assumed increasing importance in theories of literature that emphasize the interaction between reader and text. notably in the poems of the French poet Paul Valéry.DIALOGUE. diary A daily account of events recorded by an individual. the dialogue is also a type of literature in which two or more people engage in a discussion. Sir Thomas More. a development. which depict Socrates as the intellectual gadfly employing a question/answer technique with his interlocutors. Michael Macovski’s The Dialogue and Literature (1994) surveys the various uses of the form.” In its general sense as a synonym for conversation. Among the earliest and greatest examples of the form are the Dialogues of Plato (fourth century B. usually personal in nature. Nevertheless the dialogue has made occasional reappearances in modern literature. which contains a detailed and comprehensive introduction by the book’s editor. for example. the In addition to being a feature of fiction and drama which represents characters’ speech. By the 19th century the form had fallen into disuse. according to one view.). Often used synonymously with the term journal. Famous diarists include Samuel Pepys in the 17th century and Anaïs Nin in the 20th century. dialogue. it is distinguished from the latter by its more intimate and informal tone.C. Erasmus’s English friend. Another celebrated modern use of the form is William Butler Yeats’s “Dialogue of the Self and the Soul. THE Bakhtin’s principles are best exemplified in his The Dialogic Imagination (1981). as. A measure of the continued importance of the form in the 17th and 18th centuries is its use in such serious works as Galileo’s Concerning the Two World System (1632) and David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779). employed the dialogue for polemical purposes in his Dialogue Concerning Heresies (1528). in HERMENEUTICS or READER RESPONSE CRITICISM. and Baldassare Castiglione’s influential The Courtier (1518) employed a series of dialogues to shape a definition of the ideal courtier in a cultured society. It also plays a crucial role in Mikhail Bakhtin’s conception of DIALOGISM. the Platonic precedent encouraged the use of the form for a variety of purposes: Erasmus’s Colloquies (1516) were used to teach Latin to school children throughout Europe. Undoubtedly the most compelling diary of modern times is Anne Frank’s Diary 118 . In the RENAISSANCE.

listening to the character’s stories. Right. a novel set in a ghettoized housing project. She didn’t like her plate full. dull and squat. It sat there.” Since James’s time. colloquial. for example. What constitutes didacticism varies with historical periods. Good. for example. Mouth dry. the term assumes a more limited role relating to the analysis of types of NARRATIVE. as Leopold Bloom prepares breakfast for his wife Molly: Another slice of bread and butter: three. diegesis/mimesis Contrasting terms used to indicate the difference between literature in which the AUTHOR or NARRATOR is presumed to be speaking (as in descriptive passages in fiction—diegesis) and that in which a character speaks (as in drama or in the dialogue portion of fiction—mimesis). The traditional 19th-century novel placed a greater emphasis on the author’s voice and therefore on his authority as an omniscient narrator. published in 1952. as in the novels of Henry James. four. The general categories of diction are formal. Complicating the use of the latter term is that MIMESIS also can refer to literature’s presumed ability to reflect the real world—as. Here. 119 . Cup of tea soon. the audience’s sense at Conor McPherson’s play The Weir (1998) that they are sitting in a real pub. Around the turn of the century. But when paired with diegesis. the practice of interweaving dialogue or monologue (mimesis) and description (diegesis) in the same passage has become common.: right. as in Richard Price’s Clockers (1992). particularly in the practice of Henry James. there was a shift in emphasis in the writing of fiction from exposition (diegesis) to direct representation (mimesis)—from “telling” to “showing. He turned from the tray. George Bernanos’s Diary of a Country Priest (1937) is a modern classic. lifted the kettle off the hob and set it sideways on the fire. its spout stuck out. and slang. Among novels cast in diary form. In modern times the term has been applied to the principles of SOCIALIST REALISM as practiced in the Soviet Union. written while she was hiding from the Nazis during World War II. didactic literature Usually used as a disparaging term to describe literature so intent on instructing or moralizing that it interferes with or overwhelms the artistic experience of the work. diction The choice of words in a work of literature.DIEGESIS/MIMESIS of a Young Girl. as in the essays of Calvin Trillin. is a passage from James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922).

Mouth dry. speaking through the consciousness of the character in FREE INDIRECT STYLE.DIERESIS The first sentence is a description rendered through Bloom’s INTERIOR In the second sentence the use of the past tense (“didn’t”) suggests an authorial narrator. C. dime novel Popular 19th-century paperback novels usually sold in America for 10 cents. In the case of a play. the complex mix of diegesis and mimesis has become one of the distinguishing features of modern and postmodern fiction. to act. the director coordinates and supervises the actors. In later years when the tradition of the ACTOR120 . The final fragments (“Cup of tea soon.”) refers us back to Bloom’s monologue. in RHETORIC. served as the company’s director. most important. The Indian Wife of a White Hunter (1860) by Ann Sophia Stephens. The fourth and fifth sentences are straight authorial descriptions. dieresis In verse. MONOLOGUE. The appeal of these novels was that they were “action packed” with steely-eyed heroes. and maidens in distress. dimeter A line of verse consisting of two feet. Among the most successful of these was Buffalo Bill. a goal that the director must determine in collaboration with the other figures. King of the Border Men (1869) by Ned Buntline. (See METER.”) place us back in Bloom’s stream of consciousness. In this respect he or she must succeed in communicating the vision to everyone involved in the production.” différance See DECONSTRUCTION. Judson. the pseudonym of E. As this passage illustrates. The third sentence (“Right. Good. the division of an entity into its component parts. David Lodge provides an illuminating discussion of the technique in After Bakhtin (1990). to perform. The first successful dime novel was Malaeska. a pause in a line when the end of a word and the end of a foot coincide. in the services of the play’s objective. Z. the costumes. certainly in the case of Molière and possibly in the case of Shakespeare. the lighting and. The modern concept of a director evolved from an earlier period when the AUTHOR. despicable villains.) director In DRAMA and film the person charged with the overall responsibility for the performance. A parodical example is the Gravedigger’s analysis of “act” in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “An act hath three branches: it is to do. the acting. Daryl Jones’s The Dime Novel Western (1978) offers a history of the genre. the design.

121 .DISCOURSE MANAGER of a company held sway. Thus the emphasis on interpretation tended to abstract and idealize literature. he or she was an employee of the studio with limited opportunity to exercise creative control. Foucault would argue that. which contains the memorable couplet: Golden lads and girls all must. legal discourse. the director assumed more autonomy. the dominant tendency was to present the play as a showcase for the star. a practice that is seen as “naturally appropriate” to criticism. the director’s control of a film was largely limited to the actual filming. the latter being still seen as subordinate in importance to the playwright. a movement accelerated by the AUTEUR theory of filmmaking. isolating it from the historical conditions within which it was produced and with which it interacted. the film director has come to assume greater prominence than a theater director. Two famous examples from Shakespeare are: “Full fathom five” in The Tempest and “Fear no more the heat of the sun” in Cymbeline. writers. the term “poetic discourse” suggests a language specific to the genre of poetry. the language of literary criticism emphasizes interpretation. or military discourse. In FILM the director is similarly responsible for all of the activity that goes into the shooting of the film. dirge A funeral song lamenting someone’s death.” such a practice is rooted in a historical development where choices were made to exclude some things and emphasize others. and technicians. With the growth of the STUDIO SYSTEM. Sir Joshua Reynolds’s lectures on painting delivered at the Royal Academy of Art in the 18th century. come to dust. which refers to the type of language employed in the writings of university professors. 1972). According to the French theorist Michel Foucault (The Archaeology of Knowledge. With the decline of the studios. as in ACADEMIC DISCOURSE. Wendy Lasser’s A Director Calls (1997) is a detailed study of a director in action. As a result. Perhaps the most significant figure in the emergence of the modern sense of the term was Konstantin Stanislavski. For example. which equated the director with the author of a literary work. Like the actors. as in Discourses. Similarly we speak of medical discourse. discourse An extended treatment of a subject. In traditional literary study. far from being “natural. As chimney-sweepers. the discourse of a given institution or discipline governs the production of knowledge within it. the director of the MOSCOW ART THEATRE. Discourse also refers to a specific form of language.

E. As related to the study of fiction. corrective view of the controversy.DISCOURSE ANALYSIS Growing out of Foucault’s work. edited by Frank Lentricchia and Thomas McLaughlin.A. Shakespeare may have participated in the revising of older plays. the aim of the study of discourse is. Paul Bové’s essay “Discourse” appears in Critical Terms for Literary Study (1990). the study of speech or writing longer than a single sentence. “to describe the surface linkages between power. the structural analysis of novels and stories. Honigmann’s The Stability of Shakespeare’s Text (1965) offers an interesting.” or in place. who argued that in the early plays. as the curtain is parted. According to Eliot. anecdotes. S. dissociation of sensibility A phrase coined by T. The most responsible and restrained of the disintegrators was J.J. disintegrators Term for a group of 19th and early 20th century scholars who maintained that a substantial number of the 37 plays in the Shakespearean CANON represents Shakespeare’s revisions of other writers’ works. This was particularly true of METAPHYSICAL POETRY. Eliot to describe the separation of feeling and thought. lending the appearance of scientific rigor to the proceedings. jokes. in the critic Paul Bové’s words. poets exhibited a capacity to easily integrate feeling and thought. The basis for the disintegration theses were the results of verse tests designed to offer statistical analyses of specific metrical elements in each play. discovery space A term for the curtained area running the entire width of the rear of the Elizabethan stage. intellectuals. edited by Paul Rabinow (1984). Shakespeare revised pre-existing material. or other forms of narrative. discourse analysis In LINGUISTICS. a common practice of playwrights in the Elizabethan theater. The Metaphysicals had been 122 .” A representative selection of Foucault’s ideas is available in The Foucault Reader. Dover Wilson. knowledge. prior to the middle of the 17th century. The discovery space is regarded as a more plausible alternative to the belief that the open Elizabethan stage contained an “inner stage. discourse analysis appears as NARRATOLOGY. the HenryVI trilogy. used for unveiling certain interior scenes where the characters are “discovered.” an interior acting area set back from the rear of the stage. the control of populations and the modern state. Many scholars accept the idea that in the beginning of his career. storytelling. institutions. Discourse analysis usually focuses on the structures of conversations. for example.

” But Eliot argued that this reconciling of opposites. an overlapping transition between two scenes. was characteristic of poetry and indicative of the poetic SENSIBILITY: The ordinary man’s experience is . Dissolves are an effective means of communicating a relationship between two images. the Metaphysicals were the last group to exhibit a consistently unified sensibility. as when John Donne compared two separated lovers to the twin legs of a compass in his poem “The Anniversary. for a penetrating critique of his thesis. A quick dissolve sets up sharply contrasting scenes. in his Poetics. a slow dissolve can be used to suggest the passage of time. the other fades in. often used in television commercials to build an association of ideas in the mind of the viewer. as one scene fades out. The latter falls in love. the presentation of factual events designed to inform or persuade its audience. Historically. resulting in the assignment of literature to the emotional. The term now describes any impassioned and structurally irregular lyric poem. among whom it enjoyed unusual authority. and these two experiences have nothing to do with each other or with the noise of the typewriter or the smell of cooking. For Eliot. In the mind of the poet these experiences are always forming new wholes. a technique frequently used to introduce a FLASHBACK. Eliot’s essay “The Metaphysical Poets” appears in his Selected Essays (1932). In recent years it has been seen more as special pleading on Eliot’s part. The documentary usually relies 123 . documentary In FILM and television. A “ripple dissolve” involves the blurring of the first scene as it slowly disappears. Since their time the impact of scientific rationalism had created a division between thought (“truth”) and feeling (“poetry”). . in this case love and science. fragmentary. . Eliot’s thesis was adopted by many adherents of the NEW CRITICISM. dissolve In FILM. or reads Spinoza.DOCUMENTARY criticized for yoking together wildly divergent images in their poems. the dithyramb enjoys great significance because of Aristotle’s claim. nonrational sphere of human existence. that the dithyramb was one of the roots out of which TRAGEDY emerged. an example of his desire to turn the clock back to a time before the mid-17th century. dithyramb Originally a hymn sung by a chorus at Greek festivals honoring the god Dionysus. see Frank Kermode’s The Romantic Image (1957).

and propaganda films. a number of which. a study of the lives of fishermen in a remote island off the coast of Ireland. Triumph of the Will (1935). and Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah (1985). science. the Soviet Stalingrad (1943). Marcel Ophuls’s The Sorrow and the Pity (1969). the rock concert.” Direct Cinema aimed at capturing the experience of an individual or social group. and Albert and David Maysles’ Gimme Shelter (1970) captured the energy and spirit of a generation. famous for a number of programs on McCarthyism. a depiction of Eskimo life. was a cinematic version of a monthly newsmagazine. A number of outstanding European documentary films have attempted to come to terms with the horror of the HOLOCAUST. In television. in his other great documentary.DOCUMENTARY on realistic techniques to emphasize the view of the presentation as truthful. Included within the genre are nature. the battle of human beings against the elements of nature. ethnographic. a sumptuously photographed record of the Berlin Olympics of 1936. produced under the aegis of Time magazine. and Olympiad (1938). or “Direct Cinema. documentaries explored a new social phenomenon. and John Huston’s The Battle of San Pietro (1945) transcended the propaganda genre. One of these McCarthy documentaries became the subject of a film documentary. Shown in movie theaters from 1935 to 1951. In the postwar years the documentary took on the characteristics associated with Italian NEOREALISM and with CINEMA VERITÉ. whose Nanook of the North (1922). documentaries frequently have taken on the form of investigative reports. current events. Later 124 . a mythic rendering of the 1934 Nazi Party congress held in Nuremburg. notably Alain Resnais’s Night and Fog (1955). The March of Time. Notable examples include Lionel Rogosin’s On the Bowery (1957). directed by George Clooney. Flaherty reinforced Nanook’s theme. and Frederick Wiseman’s Titicut Follies (1968). In the ’60s. a tradition that began with the Edward R. World War II produced a rich vein of propaganda documentaries. a painful portrait of life in a state hospital. The 1930s saw another innovation in the form with the introduction of The March of Time. historical. Frank Capra’s series Why We Fight (1942–45). The father of the film documentary is the American Robert Flaherty. Good Night and Good Luck (2005). such as the British Desert Victory (1943). A radically different use of the form appears in the work of Leni Riefenstahl. Man of Aran (1934). Murrow–Fred Friendly series See It Now (1951–58). a powerful study of the lives of derelicts. who created two powerful Nazi propaganda films. Michael Wadleigh’s Woodstock (1969). provided an extraordinary look at a remote culture. travel. Donn Allen Pennebaker’s Monterey Pop (1968).

1626). Richard Meran Barsam’s Nonfiction Film: A Critical History (1972) is a scholarly and analytical account that draws attention to the relationship of documentaries to nonfictional prose. E. notably G. shallow verse. the first example in German drama of a tragedy focused on a middle class family. doggerel Crude. which 125 . The form reemerged in the 18th century with the success of George Lillo’s The London Merchant (1731).DON JUAN THEME Murrow and Friendly produced a notable single documentary. Don Juan theme A theme originating with the idea of Don Juan as a compul- sive seducer. as in the poems of the English poet John Skelton (1460–1529). Domestic tragedy made its first appearance on the Elizabethan stage in such plays as the anonymous Arden of Feversham (1591). and Thomas Heywood’s A Woman Killed with Kindness (1603). whose fate has consequences for the community as a whole. and most recently seen as a joyless. American drama in the 1940s saw a remarkable resurgence of middle class family tragedy with Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire (1947). reflective intellectual. and Holocaust (1978). A Long Day’s Journey into Night (1940. and Eugene O’Neill’s most important play. in which the murder of a merchant and the repentance and execution of the murderer constitute the main action. scoffing rebel. The 1970s saw the innovation in television of the “docudrama. The earliest example of the story is Tirso de Molina’s El burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra (The Trickster of Seville and the Stone Guest. Harvest of Shame (1960). in which the husband of an adulterous wife denies her access to her children after he discovers her affair. sometimes consciously employed for comic effect. produced. Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman (1948).) domestic tragedy A form of tragedy in which the protagonists are middle or working class people whose downfall takes place within a family relationship. (See SKELTONICS. men and women of royal blood. Lessing’s Miss Sara Sampson (1755).” dramatized versions of historical events. c. later transformed into the figure of the laughing. in which a wife and her lover murder the woman’s husband and are caught and executed for the crime. 1956). The term underscores the contrast between these tragic characters and those in Classical and Renaissance plays. an account of the plight of migrant workers. a biography of Martin Luther King. The success of Lillo’s play led to imitations in Germany. Among many examples are King (1978).

unhappy rebel in search of. The next great version of the legend. But the most influential of the versions of Don Juan was Mozart’s Don Giovanni (1787). but never achieving. The Romantic Age transformed the great lover from a scoffing libertine to a lonely. A famous. Jekyll and Mr. performed every November in Spanish-speaking countries. and Joseph Losey’s opulent production of Don Giovanni (1972). George Bernard Shaw turned the legend on its head in Man and Superman (1905) with its memorable third act scene “Don Juan in Hell. The Swiss dramatist Max Frisch gave Shaw’s figure a negative twist in Don Juan and the Love of Geometry (1968). During the same period in Restoration England. added atheism and hypocrisy to Don Juan’s offenses. its LIBRETTO by Lorenzo Da Ponte providing an adequate vehicle for the sublime music. Lord Byron’s Don Juan (1818–23) contributed further to the great fame of the figure. as the spiritual kin of Goethe’s hero. a play that has assumed the status of a religious feast.DOPPELGÄNGER includes the two essential features of the story. the predatory seducer and the avenging statue of the man Don Juan has murdered. although Byron’s work. of which women were the symbol. In 1844 appeared the Spanish writer José Zorilla’s Don Juan Tenorio. Molière’s Don Juan (1665). as in Christian Grabbe’s play Don Juan and Faust (1829). In this role he is seen. Thomas Shadwell produced The Libertine (1676).” Shaw represented Don Juan as a “superman. an ideal. has little in common with the plays that preceded it. A psychologically more subtle treatment is Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Sharer (1912) in which a young captain in charge of his first ship secretly harbors a young man until such time as the captain proves himself capable of command. where the Don is an intellectual in a vain quest for an ordering principle in life. What it does add to the legend is the idea of a passive figure. Notable film versions include a 1926 swashbuckler starring John Barrymore. the world’s most imitated opera. Oscar Mandel’s The Theatre of Don Juan (1963) contains commentaries along with excerpts from various theatrical versions of the theme. a formless but spirited rendering of the legend that was extremely popular in its time. doppelgänger (the double) German word used to describe a character whose divided mind or personality is represented as two characters. more seduced than seducing. Brian Friel put the device to effective 126 . Hyde (1886).” a servant of the “life force” marked by a restless quest for perfection. Other examples include Edgar Allan Poe’s story “William Wilson” (1839) and Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel The Double (1840). example is Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. if melodramatic. an epic poem.

FARCE. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. and TRAGICOMEDY. Drama is a major literary GENRE. meaning to be put at a disadvantage. and props in the play should correspond exactly to the world being represented so that the audience will succumb to the illusion that it is watching real people. In a scene in which upstage and downstage characters engage in a dialogue. proudly showing off his art collection. frequently subdivided into the categories of TRAGEDY. downstage indicates the front and upstage the rear. speech. dramatic monologue A type of lyric poem in which a person speaks to a silent audience and. exposes himself as the callous murderer of his late wife. Browning’s “My Last Duchess” (1845). RADIO DRAMA. Robert Rogers’s The Double in Literature (1970) surveys the use of the device from the perspective of psychoanalysis. The supposition of realistic drama is that the audience is gazing into a real room with one wall removed. in which a nameless Duke. COMEDY. Further subdivisions include MELODRAMA. sometimes known as the “fourth wall convention. drama In its broadest sense. Here I Come (1964). downstage/upstage In a PROSCENIUM stage. Alfred Prufrock” (1915). The convention of the dramatic illusion was challenged by Bertolt Brecht in his defense of the EPIC THEATER and the ALIENATION EFFECT. In the 20th century the best known example of the form is T. 127 . TELEVISION DRAMA. reveals a critical aspect of his own character. the upstage actor has the advantage. The American poet Frank Bidart has recently revived the form using historical figures.DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE comic use in his play Philadelphia. in the course of doing so. not a play. either in a theater or on radio or television. and the various genres of FILM. S. a verse novel cast as 12 lengthy monologues. Robert Langbaum’s The Poetry of Experience (1957) examines the form in detail. as in his “The War of Vaslav Nijinsky” (1981). The acknowledged master of this form was Robert Browning. movements. Browning extended the form further in The Ring and the Book (1869).” Thus the costumes. since the downstage actor’s back is to the audience—hence the term upstaged. in which the lead character’s double (played by a second actor) ironically comments on the action. pantomime. is the finest dramatic monologue of its time.) dramatic illusion A term for the “illusion of reality” that is the basis of theatri- cal REALISM. any work in which actors assume roles before an audience. (See also CLOSET DRAMA.

” Burke’s dramatism has had less direct impact in literature than in sociology. literal or symbolic: Act (What happened?).” The pentad offers the following ways of looking at any action.” An “agent-scene” ratio. the historical moment. Scene (What was the context?). for example.” Extending the dramatic metaphor even further. Language is. Agent (Who did it?). a form of “symbolic action”. but we are also symbolusing. emphasizing any particular “ratio” produces “a truth. 1989). Each choice alters the interpretation. which Burke calls the “pentad. dramatis personae The list of characters in a play. for many of his followers. Burke argues that “a poem is an act. An anthology of Burke’s writing containing an introduction that explains his contribution to sociology is On Symbols and Society (ed. where it is regarded as a basic tool in analyzing the SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION of reality. Thus. Burke stands as one of the forerunners of contemporary THEORY and a great critic in his own right. would explore the relationship between the actor and one of a wide range of possible “scenes” in which the act occurred. human beings act on two levels. or the type of civilization. Insofar as we are animals our actions are literal. therefore. Frank Lentricchia’s Criticism and Social Change (1985) treats Burke’s contribution to contemporary criticism and theory. essentially responses to stimuli. the symbolic act of the poet who made it—and of such a nature that. the literal and the symbolic. such as the geographical place. See SPEECH ACT THEORY. Joseph Gusfield. or object. 128 . Purpose (Why was it done?).DRAMATISM dramatism A term coined by the American critic and theorist Kenneth Burke to describe his use of drama as a model of human behavior. usually appearing in a the- ater program or at the beginning of a printed version of the play. when we ascribe a particular motive to an act. in other words.” as opposed to “the truth. William Rueckert’s Kenneth Burke and the Drama of Human Relations (1963) gives a detailed analysis of dramatism. meaning-making animals for whom language is a mode of action. in surviving as a structure. For Burke. we are like a playwright setting that action within a certain “frame. Nevertheless.” This frame can be analyzed from any one of five perspectives. it enables us as readers to re-enact it. Any one of these terms may be combined with any other to offer a perspective that Burke terms a “ratio. Agency (How was it done?).

Begot of nothing but vain fantasy. particularly popular in the first half of the 20th century which focused on the lives of sophisticated. Which are the children of an idle brain. in a manner that reflected the seriousness of tragedy. dramaturge An adviser employed by a theater company who assists in choos- ing the plays the company will present. The medieval expression of this view took the form of the DREAM VISION. a narrative poem. contains his most important essays on the theater. The first is to regard a dream as irrational (the “crazy dream”) and insignificant. Mercutio’s account in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet summarizes this view: I talk of dreams. The dramaturge sometimes also assists the director in determining an interpretation of a play to be presented. are a source of a wisdom beyond reason. MELODRAMA. See ADAPTATION. upper middleclass types. His talent as a playwright was limited.DREAM dramatization The rendering of a story or event as a play. but without that form’s unhappy endings. G. see DOMESTIC TRAGEDY. drâme bourgeois (bourgeois drama) A term coined by the 18th-century French philosopher and playwright Denis Diderot to describe a type of drama that focused on the domestic problems of middle class families. Examples of this type range from the 13th-century Roman de la Rose 129 . a truth of the imagination. In this view. Diderot’s Collected Essays. Crocker (1966). dream Since classical times two opposing views of the dream have prevailed. For related terms. in which the narrator describes a dream that has clearly allegorical implications. edited by L. though illusory. Which is as thin of substance as the air. And more inconstant than the wind. Diderot wished to explore the impact of social conditions on the lives of his characters. dreams. but his critical principles exerted considerable influence on the development of European drama in the 18th and 19th centuries. The drawing room often served as the setting of such plays as in Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit (1941). Countering this view of dreams as pointless and illusory is the tradition—of far greater use to storytellers and writers—of the dream as prophetic or symbolic. In these plays. drawing room comedy A type of drama.

Frank Baum’s TheWizard of Oz (1900. In the play. that the apparent illusion of the dream or play may reflect a higher truth.DREAM of Guillaume de Lorris to Chaucer’s The Book of the Duchess (1369) and William Langland’s Piers Plowman (1366–99). conversely. In Elizabethan drama. Hippolyta. “something of great constancy” as Theseus’s bride. the dream functioned both as a plot device and as a means of adding an air of mystery and the supernatural to the action. and transformations yields a truth.” a conception closely allied to Calderón’s (and Shakespeare’s) other great theme: THEATRUM MUNDI. the character Theseus makes the connection among these three phenomena: The lunatic. says in correcting his view.) The literary work that employs the Freudian conception of the dream to greatest effect is James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake (1939). magic. film version 1939).” Both “life is a dream” and “the world as a stage” suggest the basic religious proposition that human values are transient and deceptive and. In this comment Theseus is deprecating the poet and the lover by equating them with the madman. as expressed in his The Interpretation of Dreams (1900). for example. the effect of the dream is to restore the awakened dreamer to a new sense of harmony with his world. To these. In this form. What Shakespeare hinted at was made explicit in the plays of his nearcontemporary. but unwittingly he is testifying to the experience of the play as a whole. which concludes with Dorothy’s recognition of the value of her Kansas home. Calderón’s Life Is a Dream (1635) explores the theme that “all men dream the lives they lead. the Spanish dramatist Pedro Calderón de la Barca. in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (See PSYCHOANALYTICAL CRITICISM. Freud maintained that a dream is an expression by an individual’s UNCONSCIOUS of a wish or fear that is partially suppressed and therefore employs symbols that must be interpreted in order to be understood (see DREAMWORK). The modern view of the dream is an outgrowth of the central role of dreams in Sigmund Freud’s theories. This conception has had a profound effect on modern literature because of Freud’s implied assertion that the literary artist is a kind of dreamer whose unconscious wishes or fears constitute the hidden meaning of a poem or story. the lover and the poet Are of imagination all compact. Presented as the dream 130 . or “the world as a stage. in which the very title suggests the relation between the dream and other illusory forms such as drama and romantic love. Shakespeare added the use of dreams as metaphors for the meaning of the play—as. which suggests that its “dream world” of fairies. A famous modern example would be L. Here and throughout his work.

C. Joyce’s novel suggests that the language of dreams is a fusion (and confusion) of tongues and free association. commemorating the death of Blanche. in which a lost pearl comes to stand for a daughter who has died in infancy. The dream in The Parliament of Fowls (c. dreamwork Sigmund Freud’s term for the transformation of the hidden or latent meaning of a dream into the form that is remembered and reported by the dreamer. it is written. More difficult to interpret than any dream. not for dreamers. A dream is a combination of the “day residue. In order to succeed. The occasion of the dream was a sentence in the dreamer’s English exercise: “The lion’s greatest adornment is her 131 . but.” Marjorie Garber’s Dream in Shakespeare (1974) covers the variety of uses of dreams and dreamworlds in his plays. in Joyce’s words. The prologue to his The Legend of Good Women (c. but in sleep it manages to escape the “censor. Charles Rycroft’s The Innocence of Dreams (1979) adapts and updates the Freudian theory. Another famous 14th-century dream vision poem is The Pearl. 1375) concludes with a parliament of birds discussing a variety of views of the nature of love. for “the ideal reader suffering from ideal insomnia.DREAMWORK of H. a series of dream vision episodes that focuses on the proper conduct of a Christian life against a background of 14th-century English society. .” an immediate situation in daily life. observes allegorical or actual figures whose behavior illustrates some truth of life. together with a powerful motive dating back to childhood. The prototype of the form is Guillaume de Lorris’s Roman de la Rose. Earwicker. in which he observes the courtship of a maiden. one of which is laughing. in a dream. a long 13thcentury poem that recounts his dream of love. Chaucer’s patron. . two features of which are condensation—the compression of two or more desires or fears into a single image—and displacement—the shifting of feeling from one object or person to another. the escape must take on disguised forms. the Duchess of Lancaster and wife of John of Gaunt. Another notable English dream vision poem is William Langland’s Piers Plowman (1366–86). The latter has been long suppressed from consciousness.” the unconscious. but she is not afraid of them. dream vision A type of medieval literature in which the narrator. Here is an excerpt from a dream analyzed by Freud: The dreamer sees three lions in the desert. the owner of a Dublin pub. Chaucer employed the form in a number of works: The Book of the Duchess (1369) is a combined elegy and dream vision. however. 1380) contains a dream vision that operates as the framing device of the individual stories that follow it. .


mane.” Her father used to wear a beard which encircled his face like a mane. The name of her English teacher is Miss Lyons. An acquaintance of hers had sent her a book of the ballads of Loewe (Loewe-lion). These, then, are the three lions. . . . The lion is like the lion in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, who is unmasked as Snug the joiner; and of such stuff are all the dream-lions of which one is not afraid. Characteristically, Freud’s analysis includes literary allusions, underscoring his view that dreams and literary works are, as Shakespeare points out in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “of imagination all compact.”
Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) contains his most complete treatment of dreams and dreamwork. drinking See ALCOHOL. dumb show In Elizabethan drama, a mimed scene depicting an episode occur-

ring outside the time sequence of the play. The dumb show was employed by a number of dramatists including Thomas Kyd (The Spanish Tragedy, 1589) and John Webster (The Duchess of Malfi, 1613). By far the best known example is the introductory segment to the play-within-the-play in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Dieter Mehl’s The Elizabethan Dumb Show (1965) is the definitive study. dybbuk In Hasidic Jewish folklore, the soul of a dead person that, as a punish-

ment for past sins, wanders aimlessly until it can enter the body of a living person. Once it does, that person becomes possessed, as if by a devil. The folktale formed the basis of the Russian Jewish writer S. Ansky’s The Dybbuk (1920), a tragedy in which a young woman is possessed by a dybbuk, the soul of a young man who died after completing a pact with the devil. The play, one of the most celebrated in the Yiddish theater, has been widely performed in Europe and America.
Joseph C. Landis has translated the play into English in his The Dybbuk and Other Great Yiddish Plays (1966). dystopia See UTOPIA.





early modern period A recent term used by some scholars and historians to

replace the more traditional term RENAISSANCE. The choice of “early modern” emphasizes those features at the end of the period (the 17th century) that anticipate the themes of MODERNISM, as opposed to the term Renaissance, which, with its meaning of “rebirth,” tends to focus on the beginnings of the period (the 15th and 16th centuries).
early Tudor In English literature, the period from the accession of Henry VII in 1485 to the beginning of the ELIZABETHAN reign in 1558. The major historical event of the period was the decision of Henry VIII to break with Rome and establish the Church of England, a move that had profound consequences for the subsequent history of the nation. The period also saw the introduction of HUMANISM to England. The outstanding humanist of the age, Sir Thomas More, created its most significant prose work, Utopia (1516). In poetry, the age is distinguished by the lyrics of Sir Thomas Wyatt, the first English poet to employ the sonnet form, and Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, whose translation of Books II and IV of Virgil’s Aeneid (1554–57) represents the first use of BLANK VERSE in English. Another pioneer writer of the age was George Gascoigne, whose Supposes (1566) is the first prose comedy in English and a major source of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Another feature of the era was the development of the theatrical form known as the INTERLUDE. C. S. Lewis’s English Literature in the 16th Century (1954) provides a highly readable and provocative analysis of the nondramatic work of the time; David Bevington’s Tudor Drama and Politics (1968) deals with the interaction of plays and politics in the period. eclogue A PASTORAL poem, traditionally featuring shepherds engaged in dia-

logue, as in Edmund Spenser’s The Shepherd’s Calendar (1579). Since the 18th century the term has been divorced from its pastoral setting and has come to refer



to a poem in which a dialogue or monologue provides the vehicle for serious reflection, as in W. H. Auden’s The Age of Anxiety: A Baroque Eclogue (1948).
ecocriticism An approach to literature from the perspective of environmentalism. An aspect of the broader field of Environmental Studies, ecocriticism focuses on nature writing: classics, such as Henry David Thoreau’s Walden (1854), and contemporary works, such as Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (1974) and John McPhee’s Coming into the Country (1977). An interesting example of ecocriticism is Joseph Meeker’s The Comedy of Survival (1974), a study of comic theory in relation to the environment. A more ambitious goal for this type of criticism is laid out by Karl Kroeber in Ecological Literary Criticism (1994). Drawing on recent findings in biological science, Kroeber argues that the romantic poets’ experience of nature anticipated the current view in biological science that an “individual organism is not definable except through its interactions with its environment.” Romantic self-consciousness, instead of being the source of alienation, was uniquely suited to an intersubjective attunement to nature. Another ecocritical view is evident in Jonathan Bate’s The Song of the Earth (2000). Bate employs a phenomenological approach indebted to the philosopher Martin Heidegger, who sees the connection of nature with literature as “the poetry of dwelling” with the earth. The Ecocriticism Reader (1996), edited by Cheryll Glotfelty and Harold Fromm, is the first anthology of critical essays on the topic. Edwardian In English history and literature, the reign of King Edward VII (1901–10). It was a period characterized by a reaction against Victorianism (See VICTORIAN) and by the first stirrings of MODERNISM. Although it was a relatively tranquil time, the increasing discontent of the lower classes asserted itself in the formation, in 1900, of the socialist British Labour Party. The Edwardian era also saw the birth of the Woman’s Suffrage Movement (1905). Under the leadership of Emmeline Pankhurst, the Suffragettes, as they were known, adopted a militant campaign that included violence in their efforts to obtain full voting rights for women, which were finally won in 1918. In poetry the era saw the birth of IMAGISM; in drama, the plays of George Bernard Shaw and the founding of the ABBEY THEATRE; and in fiction, the novels of Joseph Conrad, H. G. Wells, and E. M. Forster. Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1902) and Nostromo (1905) were complex analyses of the moral consequences of imperialism. Wells, best known for his SCIENCE FICTION, also wrote social novels, of which the most accomplished is Tono-Bungay (1908), a critical look


at Edwardian values. Forster’s Howards End (1910) depicts the interaction of the English leisure class with the commercial middle class. The period is usually seen as ending with the outbreak of World War I.
Samuel Hynes’s The Edwardian Turn of Mind (1968) captures the tone and substance of the period. eiron A STOCK CHARACTER in classical comedy, whose pose as a self-deprecating,

humble figure enables him to outwit his opponents, particularly the ALAZON or boaster. The real life prototype of the eiron was the philosopher Socrates, who always professed his own ignorance while exposing the faulty thinking of others. The eiron is a basic figure in comedy, often portrayed as the good friend of the hero. The type is also recognizable today in the homespun humorist, such as Will Rogers or Andrew Rooney, or Peter Falk’s dirty-raincoat-clad detective in the television series Columbo.
élan vital (vital impulse) According to the French philosopher Henri Bergson, the force that drives the process of evolution in life, the generative motor of the instinct for preservation. One manifestation of this impulse is treated in Bergson’s famous treatise Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic (1900). George Bernard Shaw anticipated and developed Bergson’s “creative evolution” concept in some of his plays, notably Man and Superman (1905). Shaw presents a detailed account of Bergson’s theories in his “Preface” to Back to Methusaleh (1921). elegy A lyric poem meditating on the death of an individual or on the fact

of mortality in general. The reflection on death usually leads to a resolution in which the speaker asserts a general truth. Distinguished examples of elegies include Thomas Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” (1750) and Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s In Memoriam (1880). Modern examples include W. H. Auden’s “On the Death of W. B. Yeats” (1939) and Paul Monette’s tribute to a lover who died of AIDS, Love Alone: Eighteen Elegies for Rog (1988). A poignant modern elegy is Frank O’Hara’s tribute to Billie Holiday “The Day Lady Died.” (1959). A particular type, the PASTORAL elegy, involves the representation of the dead person as a shepherd. The pastoral elegy originated among Sicilian poets writing in Greek in the second and third centuries B.C. Notable examples in English are John Milton’s Lycidas (1637) and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Adonais (1821).
P. M. Sacks’s The English Elegy (1985) provides a survey of the form.


Elizabethan The literature of the 45-year reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603)

encompasses two literary periods: the end of the EARLY TUDOR era in the 1560s and the extraordinary age that bears her name. The term Elizabethan is sometimes used to embrace literary activity up to the death of Shakespeare (1616), but the latter part of Shakespeare’s career properly belongs to the JACOBEAN era. Elizabethan literature is characterized by an intense national pride and a sense of optimism expressed in rich, at times ornate, language. It was a period of linguistic experimentation and discovery, reflected in the magisterial prose of Richard Hooker’s The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity (1594) and the mannered experiments of John Lyly’s EUPHUISM. In poetry the age witnessed the epic achievement of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (1590–96) and the flowering of the Elizabethan sonnet, particularly those written by Edmund Spenser, Sir Philip Sidney, and Shakespeare. Sidney is also responsible for An Apologie for Poetrie (1595), a defense of literature from Puritan attack and an early example of literary criticism in English. But the glory of the age lay in its popular drama. Among the early Elizabethans the outstanding playwrights are Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Kyd. Marlowe, who died at age 29, produced two of the greatest plays in the language, Doctor Faustus (1588–92) and Edward II (1592–93). Kyd wrote The Spanish Tragedy (1578), a very successful tragedy of revenge, and a play, now lost, based on the Hamlet theme. Among the later Elizabethans, the works of Thomas Dekker (The Shoemaker’s Holiday, 1599), George Chapman (Bussy D’Ambois, 1603), and Thomas Heywood (A Woman Killed with Kindness, 1603) are notable. Shakespeare displayed his genius in romantic comedies, histories and tragedies such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595), Henry V (1599), and Romeo and Juliet (1598). The death of the 70-year-old queen in 1603 ushered in a new royal family, the Stuarts, a new century, and a new tone in literature. See JACOBEAN.
A lively and original survey of the period is C. S. Lewis’s English Literature in the Sixteenth Century, Excluding Drama (1954). For the drama, see Muriel C. Bradbrook’s Themes and Conventions of Elizabethan Tragedy (1935) and Alan Dessen’s Elizabethan Drama and theViewer’s Eye (1977). emblem A pictorial and poetic device containing a motto, an engraving that

symbolically depicts the motto, and a short verse that comments on the motto and the engraving. In the 16th and 17th centuries, many of these were collected and published in book form.
Rosemary Freeman’s English Emblem Books (1948) surveys the form from 1586 until the end of the 17th century.


emendation In textual scholarship, a term used to describe a correction of a

text. The aim of an emendation is to remove an error believed to have crept into a text in the process of its being either transcribed or printed. A celebrated emendation is from Shakespeare’s Henry V, where the description of the dying Falstaff in the original published text reads, “his nose was as sharp as a pen and a table of greenfields.” Lewis Theobald, an 18th-century editor of the play, changed it to “a’ [he] babbl’d of green fields.” The idea that a dying man would be babbling strikes most readers as a logical correction.
empathy The capacity to enter into the experience of another. Empathy is a more intense version of sympathy, the compassionate understanding of another’s feelings. In literary study empathy can be considered from the perspective of the writer or the reader. ROMANTICISM emphasized the writer’s capacity for empathy while recently, under the influence of READER RESPONSE CRITICISM, attention has focused on the reader’s role in creating empathy. empiricism In philosophy, the doctrine that experience is the basis of all knowledge. Empiricism is closely allied to the scientific method in that they both employ the principle of inductive reasoning—moving from the particular to the general—as their logical basis. The traditional philosophical opposite of empiricism is rationalism. Literary scholarship tends to be heavily empirical in its orientation, while literary theory has been for the most part rationalistic. end-stopped line A line of verse that concludes with a pause coinciding

with the completion of a phrase or clause. The HEROIC COUPLET, perfected by Alexander Pope, usually employs it, but the end-stopped line is used in many other verse forms, as in these lines from Emily Dickinson: Because I could not stop for Death— He kindly stopped for me— The carriage held but just ourselves And Immortality. The term for the opposite of the end-stopped line, the run-on line, is ENJAMBMENT.
enjambment In verse, the continuation without pause from one line or couplet to the next. It is frequently employed in BLANK VERSE drama, lending a realistic conversational rhythm to the characters’ speech, as in these lines from Shakespeare’s Macbeth:


There is none but he Whose being I do fear; and under him My genius is rebuked, as it is said Mark Antony’s was by Caesar. The opposite of enjambment is the END-STOPPED LINE.
Enlightenment, the An intellectual movement in 18th-century Europe celebrating human reason and scientific thought as the instruments of emancipation, sweeping away the superstition and ignorance that appeared to be the legacy of the past. The period is also known as the “Age of Reason” since it was committed to the belief that, in the words of the 18th-century philosopher John Locke, “Reason must be our last judge and guide.” With reason as their guide, the Enlightenment thinkers believed in a future of unlimited possibilities. The idea of progress in all spheres of human activity was a central tenet of Enlightenment thought. The Enlightenment also stood for tolerance, human rights (Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence is an Enlightenment document), scientific inquiry, and scepticism. It called for the rejection of religion based upon scriptural revelation in favor of DEISM, which posited a Divine creator, but one who remained aloof from human affairs. Among the major figures of the Enlightenment were Voltaire and Diderot in France, Immanuel Kant and G. E. Lessing in Germany, Cesare Beccaria in Italy, John Locke in England, and David Hume in Scotland. Many of the general assumptions regarding the period have been challenged by recent scholars, some influenced by Michel Foucault’s conception of DISCOURSE, suggesting that reason also served as an instrument of repression during this period. Other anti-Enlightenment sentiment is reflected in the rejection of the ideal of objectivity in thought. (See RHETORIC.) Peter Gay’s The Enlightenment (1973) offers a valuable overview of the period. envoy (envoi) A short stanza affixed to the end of certain poems, usually as an

address to an individual. In “The Complaint of Chaucer to His Purse,” the poet affixed an envoi to the newly crowned king, Henry IV: O conqueror of Brutus Albioun, Which that by line and free eleccioun Been verray [true] king, this song to you I sende: And ye, that mowen [may] alle our harmes amende, Have minde upon my supplicacioun.


In this case, the envoy achieved its purpose: Henry substantially increased Chaucer’s pension.
envy One of the most pervasive of human vices, envy is distinct from jealousy, the fear of losing something that one has. Envy involves desiring what someone else has, to such an extent that it leads to hatred of the other. It plays a central role in the biblical stories of the FALL, Cain and Abel, Joseph’s brethren, and the parable of the laborers in the vineyard. Aristotle describes and discusses it in his RHETORIC. In the MIDDLE AGES, it ranked second only to Pride among the SEVEN DEADLY SINS. In Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queen (1590–96), envy plays a powerful role, closely associated with the “Blatant Beast,” Spenser’s symbol of intractable evil. In John Milton’s Paradise Lost (1667), envy of Christ and later of man is a motivating force in Satan’s revolt and his temptation of Adam and Eve. Shakespeare’s Othello is a play about jealousy insofar as it is Othello’s play, but insofar as it is Iago’s, its main theme is envy. Iago is envious not only of Othello but also of his rival, the handsome Michael Cassio. As Iago, in a moment of selfrevelation puts it, Cassio “hath a beauty in his life that makes mine ugly.” Envy of this kind is not merely the desire for something else but a mirror revealing the self-hatred of the envious. A celebrated semi-comical treatment of envy is Robert Browning’s “Soliloquy in a Spanish Cloister” (1842), a DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE, in which the speaker, inflamed with envy of the unflappable goodness and happiness of a fellow monk, schemes of ways to try to ensure the damnation of the good man. As in the example of Iago, envy here evolves from the desire to replace the other to the desire to destroy the other. For the theorist and critic René Girard, envy is the great repressed emotion in life, specifically in the form he calls MIMETIC DESIRE, desiring someone not for his or her self, but because this person is loved by another. Thus, envy creates an eternal triangle in which the Other is the mediator between the lover and the love object. In other words, the lover imitates (hence the term, mimetic) the desire of the third person. Literary examples include Cervantes’s Don Quixote and Flaubert’s Emma Bovary, two characters famous for borrowing their desires from romantic books, their need to be somebody else. In A Theatre of Envy: William Shakespeare (1991), Girard explores the prevalence of mimetic desire in Shakespeare’s plays, whose actions are readily enhanced by techniques of disguise, mistaken identity, and other examples of the unreliability of the eyes in perceiving reality. The topic takes on an ironic connotation in an entirely new context in the Soviet novelist Yuri Olesha’s Envy (1927). As the publication date indicates, the


setting is the newly established Soviet Union, pitting two remnants, spiritually speaking, of the old regime against a successful, confident Communist who represents the machine world of the future. Although the novel clearly deplores the loss of human values that attends the triumph of the machine, the Communist bureaucrat is presented as a decent person sincerely committed to the new society. This ambivalent view of the socialist ideal was still tolerated in the Soviet Union in the 1920s before the Stalinists took control of Russian literature under the banner of SOCIALIST REALISM.
Joseph Epstein’s Envy (2003) is an elegant discussion of the subject. epic In its original sense, the term refers to a long NARRATIVE poem that

focuses on a heroic figure or group, and on events that form the cultural history of a nation or tribe. The epic hero undergoes a series of adventures that test his valor, intellect, and character. Among the conventions of the epic are the author’s invocation to the muse, the opening of the action in the middle of things (in medias res) and the long lists, or catalogues, of ships, armies or, as in John Milton’s Paradise Lost, devils. In modern times, epic has come to denote a work in prose, verse, theater, or film that exhibits action on a large scale and treats a significant historical event. Such works are usually referred to as belonging to the epic tradition. Within the original sense of the term, critics tend to distinguish between primary and secondary epics. Primary epics are direct expressions of the culture they depict, composed orally for performance before an audience. Secondary epics are written compositions that use the primary form as a model. Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey are primary epics, while Virgil’s Aeneid and Milton’s Paradise Lost, both of which use Homer as their model, are secondary epics. While Homer’s works are the best known of the primary epics, they are by no means unique. Others include the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf (eighth century), the German Nibelungenlied (13th century) and the Yugoslavian epics recorded by the scholar Milman Parry (see ORALITY/LITERACY). Recent anthropological work has resulted in the recording of The Mwindo Epic, a lengthy narrative sung and recited by members of the Nyanga tribe of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). This work exhibits many features of the classical primary epic—a miraculously born hero with supernatural powers, whose adventures include both subterranean and celestial journeys. Works that operate within the epic tradition include novels such as Cervantes’s Don Quixote (1605–15), Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (1851), Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past (1913–27), and poetry such as Lord Byron’s


a form associated with the playwright Bertolt Brecht. Brecht argued for a form of theater in which actors and audience would be always aware that they were enacting or watching a play. Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (1855). designed to discard the “theater of illusion. M. EPIC THEATER. The Mwindo Epic (1969) was edited by Daniel Biebuyck and Kahomo Mateene. represents another application of the epic. This ALIENATION EFFECT. second version. which continues the Homeric story from the return of Ulysses until his death. perhaps with greater justice. of which Ben Hur (1926. But it has also been applied. serves as a model. both in celebration of the past and in ironic commentary on the present. In a special category belong those modern experiments that consciously invoke classical models. as Brecht termed it. C. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation (1915). the term is frequently used to describe lengthy. Bowra’s Heroic Poetry (1952) provides a learned account of the classical epic. epic theater A type of drama developed by the playwright Bertolt Brecht and the German director Erwin Piscator. Brecht detailed some of the differences between epic theater and dramatic theater: Dramatic Theater plot implicates the spectator in a stage situation wears down his capacity for action provides him with sensations Epic Theater narrative turns the spectator into an observer. Sergei Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky (1938). In film. In its place. each chapter of which is intricately modeled on an episode of the Odyssey. but arouses capacity for action forces him to decide 141 . biblical.” the traditional acceptance by an audience that the events they are watching on stage are actually taking place. expensive. W. 1959). attempts to produce a more thoughtful and less emotional response in the audience. or historical spectacles. to D. In his notes to his opera Mahagonny. and Nikos Kazantzakis’s The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel (1938). Abel Gance’s Napoleon (1927). Ezra Pound’s Cantos (1920–72) and William Carlos Williams’s Paterson (1946–58). Major achievements in this form include James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922). Outstanding applications of the epic tradition in television drama include Alex Haley’s Roots (1977) and the Ken Burns documentary The Civil War (1990).EPIC THEATER Don Juan (1816). and Sergei Bondarchuk’s eight-hour version of War and Peace (1966–67).

celebrates practical wisdom and the achievement of tranquillity as its ultimate goal. In its modern sense. epilogue In drama. a final speech addressed to the audience soliciting its approval for the play. Among Brecht’s plays illustrating his theory. Edward Surtz’s The Praise of Pleasure (1957) traces the Epicurean influence on Sir Thomas More’s Utopia (1516). Often misunderstood as an endorsement of sensual pleasure. epicureanism A philosophy that advocated intellectual pleasure and freedom from pain as the greatest good. epigram usually refers to the type of WIT for which Oscar Wilde is famous—for example. For the full text of Brecht’s remarks. Mother Courage and Her Children (1941) exhibits both “dramatic” and “epic” qualities.). epideictic In RHETORIC one of the three forms of classical oratory. In ancient Greece the term referred to an inscription on a monument. and Prospero’s epilogue to The Tempest. Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (1863) is a memorable example of the form. 142 . epigram A witty phrase or short poem. forms the epigraph of John Updike’s novel In theValley of the Lilies (1996). Epideictic oratory is reserved for special occasions such as funerals or weddings. “I can resist everything but temptation. the goal of which is to praise the subject. which concludes with these lines: As you from crimes would pardon’d be Let your indulgence set me free.” epigraph A quotation used at the beginning of a text designed to illustrate its title or designate its theme.D. the Greek philosopher for whom it is named. as articulated by Epicurus. epicureanism. Famous examples from Shakespeare’s plays are Puck’s appeal for applause at the conclusion of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. satirical poems Epigrams (first century A. It assumed a literary status when the Roman poet Martial called his short. Christ was born across the sea. In a recent example. edited by John Willett.” from Julia Ward Howe’s “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” (1862). the line “In the valley of the lilies.EPICUREANISM Brecht’s emphasis on an audience aroused to action is a reflection of his Marxist view of drama as an agent of social change. see Brecht on Theatre (1964).

each one more or less self-contained. Probably the best known of his epiphanies. In this respect. the term refers to the appearance of the infant Jesus to the three Magi. episteme The Greek word for knowledge. Joyce’s short stories contain epiphanies. Thus every 143 . Eliot’s conception of the DISSOCIATION OF SENSIBILITY. the discourses of various disciplines.EPISTEME epiphany An appearance or manifestation of a deity. a servant of beauty. however. occurs in his autobiographical novel A Portrait of the Artist as aYoung Man (1916): Her slateblue skirts were kilted boldly about her waist and dovetailed behind her. adapted by the French poststructuralist Michel Foucault to describe a conceptual framework that underlies a culture’s DISCOURSE. episodic novel A novel that features a significant number of loosely connected incidents. The episodic form has experienced something of a revival in postmodernist novels such as John Barth’s The Sot-Weed Factor (1960) and Thomas Pynchon’s V. if in no other. This vision of a girl wading in the surf becomes a moment of truth for the novel’s young hero. such as economics or natural history. celebrated on the 12th day of Christmas. The traditional examples of the episodic novel are the PICARESQUE narratives that marked the beginning of the novel form. James Joyce used the term to describe the artistic revelation of the inner radiance of an object or event. and touched with the wonder of mortal beauty. Her bosom was as a bird’s soft and slight. In Foucault’s view. Foucault’s theory bears some resemblance to T. at a given point in history. its linguistic rules and connections. opening up new forms of knowledge but at the same time shutting down or foreclosing other possibilities. But her long and fair hair was girlish: and girlish. lyrical moments of insight that encapsulate the essence of the tale. (1963). for example. represented a period of “epistemic shift” in Western Europe. January 6. a movement from analogical thought (seeking resemblance between the human and the natural) to scientific thinking (emphasizing the separation of the knowing subject from the known object). her face. a realization that he will become an artist. reflect this shift. David Lodge’s The Art of Fiction (1992) offers a lively account of the use of the epiphany in modern literature. Foucault maintained that the 17th century. S. In Christianity. slight and soft as the breast of some darkplumaged dove.

plays a prominent role in literature. and in Philip Roth’s novels Deception (1991) and Operation Shylock (1994). The empiricist maintains that knowledge exists when what we know corresponds to observable reality. what it means to know something and how we acquire knowledge. For a comparable term see IDEOLOGY. philosophical. Arbuthnot (1735). The question of the elusive nature of truth. whose Right You Are If You Think You Are (1917) suggests the relative nature of truth. The genre originated in the Latin poetry of Horace and Ovid. For a clearly written account of Foucault’s ideas see Richard Harland’s Superstructuralism (1987). Poets in the Renaissance and the 18th century adapted this form. Byatt’s Possession (1990). direct language with the opportunity to explore the emotions of the characters. A strikingly “epistemological” writer is the Italian dramatist Luigi Pirandello. 144 . such as that relating to APPEARANCE/REALITY. The two broad theories of knowledge are empiricism and rationalism. the epistle addresses a literary. recording her experiences. in which the young protagonist is forced to confront the knowledge of her parents’ sexual transgression. whose Pamela (1740) and Clarissa (1747–48) established its basic forms. epistemology The study of knowledge. particularly the work of Samuel Richardson. or social theme. In recent years the epistolary form has been revived to the extent that a significant portion of a novel may be given over to an exchange of letters—notably.EPISTEMOLOGY episteme exhibits examples of insight and blindness. S. It takes a specifically epistemological turn in modern texts such as Henry James’s What Maisie Knew (1897). The appeal of the epistolary form was that it combined simple. coherent ideas. Epistolary fiction dates back to the early development of the English novel. but does so in a familiar. epistolary novel Fiction written in the form of a series of letters. a poem written in the form of a letter. relatively casual style. The rationalist holds that since we can only know ideas. a theme echoed in Akira Kurosawa’s celebrated film Rashomon (1951). knowledge consists of a system of logical. In the form derived from Horace. In Pamela the letters are written by the major character. and A. in Jean Genet’s play The Balcony (1960). a brilliant satire of life and letters in 18th-century England. epistle In literature. best exemplified in Alexander Pope’s Epistle to Dr. in Clarissa a number of characters exchange letters. Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (1982). in John Barth’s Letters (1979). Richardson’s success created a vogue of epistolary fiction in the late 18th century.

Some contemporary FEMINIST CRITICISM focuses on erotic literature as an index of sexual attitudes in various historical periods. the best known example is Edmund Spenser’s “Epithalamion” (1595).” or that describes a noun. Harlequin romances.ESCAPIST LITERATURE A memorable film based upon the epistolary idea is Max Ophuls’s Letter From An Unknown Woman (1948). It differs from PORNOGRAPHY insofar as the latter aims primarily at sexual arousal. discourages any future sexton from removing his bones to make room for another corpse: Good friend.” erotic literature A type of literature that includes explicit sexual details as its central feature. Another famous Homeric epithet is “rosy-fingered dawn. epithet A word or phrase that functions as part of someone’s name. For another view of some escapist literature. escapist literature Works intended or read as diversion and light entertainment. see FAIRY TALE. usually celebrat- ing the virtue and beauty of the bride. with its characteristic use of a compound adjective. is a controversial collection of essays that deal with the relation of sexuality and pleasure to feminist principles. A popular form in the RENAISSANCE. edited by Carol S. Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality (1984). And curst be he who moves my bones. in many modern works. It differs from the traditional literature of LOVE in its focus on sexual details. if not erased. Vance. A modern example is John Ciardi’s “I Marry You” (1958). particularly genres such as detective fiction. thought to have been written by Shakespeare himself. written for his own wedding. and adventure stories. such as “Ivan the Terrible” or “Richard the Lion-Hearted. for Jesus sake forbear To dig the dust enclosed here Blessed be the man that spares these stones. epitaph Literally an inscription on a tomb. epithalamion A poem written on the occasion of a wedding. 145 . although the distinction between the two appears to have been obscured. The epitaph on Shakespeare’s tomb. The term implies a distinction between serious and popular literature. such as Homer’s “wine-dark sea. by extension any verse or prose commenting on a dead person.” The latter is known as a Homeric epithet.

or taking off from. on the other. essay Variously defined. The popularity in the 18th century of the periodicals. an unwitting capitulation to the dominant patriarchal position 146 . Some feminists. designed to test the boundaries between fact and fiction. particularly Julia Kristeva and Helene Cixous. John Ruskin. Virginia Woolf’s The Common Reader (1925). The 19th century saw the emergence of a number of outstanding essayists. The most significant examples of the essay adapted to verse are Alexander Pope’s Essay on Criticism (1711) and his Essay on Man (1733). Essentialism is opposed on the one hand to EXISTENTIALISM. Among influential examples of modern literary essays are Henry James’s The Art of Fiction (1894). The Tatler (1709–11) and The Spectator (1711–14). Since that time there have been two traditions for the essay. contributed to the development of both forms. a specific topic. part essay. Its form reflects the meaning of the French word (essayer) from which it is derived: “to try” or “to attempt. as such. but instead to reflect the private musings of a particular individual. Charles Lamb. which assumes that human beings contain a defining inner core or spirit that elevates them above the rest of creation. essentialism The principle that natural. the term is generally used to describe a prose composi- tion. the essay proper is usually informal in tone and exploratory and tentative in its conclusions. 1962) and Guy Davenport (Tatlin!. the formal and the familiar. S. This is the type of essay written by the man who coined the term and who is still regarded as its greatest practitioner. and the collected essays of T. In FEMINIST CRITICISM the issue of essentialism has generated significant controversy. It does not aspire to be the last word on its subject.ESEMPLASTIC esemplastic A term coined by the Romantic poet and critic Samuel Taylor Coleridge to describe the shaping power of the poetic imagination. Francis Bacon (1561– 1626). with its principle that “existence precedes essence” and. have attempted to define and affirm a female essence as reflected in a non-patriarchal language rooted in a basic bond with the mother (see PSYCHOANALYTICAL CRITICISM). part fiction. Essentialism is a central feature of traditional HUMANISM. Lawrence’s Studies in Classic American Literature (1923). usually from two to 20 pages. Eliot. including Thomas De Quincey. dealing with. and Walter Pater. D. Postmodern writers such as Jorge Luis Borges (Labyrinths. to poststructuralist theories that stress the primacy of language. More traditional feminists have characterized this position as essentialist and. See IMAGINATION/FANCY. underlying essences exist in all peoples and things. Michel de Montaigne (1533–92). In the hands of Montaigne’s English contemporary. H. 1974) have developed a hybrid form. the essay became more dogmatic and impersonal.” As a result. Ralph Waldo Emerson.

ironic establishing shot forms the opening of Robert Altman’s The Player (1992). and includes references to other famous establishing shots. An eight-minute. by the medieval philosopher Scotus Erigena. the proscription against PORNOGRAPHY. as in the worshipful opening shot of the New York skyline in Woody Allen’s Manhattan (1979). edited by Mary Eagleton. that establishes the environment in which the action of a sequence is about to take place. or English AESTHETICISM. 147 . held by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. In this view TIME is cyclical rather than the linear. in Matthew Arnold’s phrase.ETHICAL CRITICISM that posits the woman as “other” and implicitly inferior. See ORALITY/LITERACY. On the other hand. many hold that reading the “wrong” literature can have a deleterious effect on a person’s moral character. that is. and. insist that literature exists entirely for itself. Conversely. such as the proponents of the ART FOR ART SAKE’S movement. that it asks nothing of us other than appreciation of its formal beauty. An establishing shot may communicate an attitude toward the subject. An ancient ritual is a repetition of its first. The belief that exposure. satirizes the film industry. historical progression that dominates Western thought. in which the director introduces the chief character. they subscribed to a view that human acts acquired meaning only insofar as they re-enacted acts consecrated originally by gods or heroes. by Friedrich Nietzsche. in modern philosophy. usually from a distance. has usually been the basic justification of a literary education. notably one in Orson Welles’s Touch of Evil (1957). The debate has brought about a sharpened awareness of the need to distinguish between biological differences and those that are culturally defined. Those who argue for literature as a purely aesthetic experience. establishing shot In FILM. for example. ethical criticism People have always debated the ethical effect of reading lit- erature. eternal return A belief that time is cyclical. Such a view underlies. sacred archetype. some see the belief in the moral or immoral power of reading literature as oversimplified. to “the best that has been thought and said” would inevitably improve the character of a reader. Feminist Literary Criticism (1991). is a collection of essays that includes a discussion of the controversy from both sides. a SHOT. summarizes the plot (in the form of a “pitch” by a screenwriter). Mircea Eliade develops his thesis in Cosmos and History:The Myth of the Eternal Return (1954). The scholar Mircea Eliade has argued that preliterate archaic societies were a-historical.

In the words of the Marxist critic Fredric Jameson. linguistic. or nationality. Nevertheless. offers a comprehensive view of the subject. Thus American ethnic literature refers to the stories. Northrop Frye’s views are contained in Anatomy of Criticism (1957). for example. and J. the act of reading is itself ethical insofar as we are willing to undermine our own initial interpretations of a text. literature helps to reaffirm attitudes or ideologies. but also the experience of engaging in ethical reasoning. while the criticism of literature is ethical in its recognition of the validity of pluralist interpretations. ethnic literature The definition of the term ethnic—“characteristic of a religious. exclusive of African Americans. a place for the genuine. Native Americans. national. religion. for example. arbitrary definitions are necessary. the ethical effect of literature resides in its ability to free the imagination of the reader.ETHNIC LITERATURE On this question professional literary critics occupy similarly opposing positions. too. For J. whose The Company We Keep: An Ethics of Fiction (1988). and poems of European and Asian groups immediately prior to. such as race. and after. demands of its readers subtle ethical discriminations as a condition of understanding the action. Perhaps the best response is that of the poet Marianne Moore in her poem “Poetry”: I. however. with a perfect contempt for it. dislike it: there are things that are important beyond all this fiddle. “The political has taken precedence over the ethical in the old fashioned sense of the word. one discovers in it after all. A novel by Jane Austen or George Eliot. For Northrop Frye. their immigration to the United States. Hillis Miller’s in The Ethics of Reading (1987) and Versions of Pygmalion (1990). Fredric Jameson’s view is contained in his Marxism and Form (1971). literature offers not only a model of moral behavior. these critics argue that in exploring the value of self-knowledge and relatedness with others. plays. the term refers to immigrant groups. It would seem that finally there is no answer to the question of the ethical impact of literature. but its ethical impact on any given individual is too complex to be measured. As a result. So broadly defined. 148 . or cultural group”—points up its difficulty. In the United States. racial. and Hispanic Americans. a number of recent critics have attempted to reassert the ethical power of literature. Reading it.” From this point of view. a proponent of DECONSTRUCTION. it becomes impossible to distinguish the term from others. Basing their work on the tradition of philosophical ethics. Among the best known of the ethical critics is Wayne Booth. Hillis Miller. From the perspective of FEMINIST or MARXIST CRITICISM literature’s fundamental impact is socio-political and its ethical ramifications are filtered through that primary fact.

JAPANESE-AMERICAN LITERATURE. In recent years. growing up in the United States.” A representative example is Harry Mark Petrakis’s Lion at My Heart (1959). is a collection of essays surveying the field. INDIA/PAKASANI-AMERICAN LITERATURE. the written description of the culture of a particular social or ethnic group. IRISHAMERICAN LITERATURE. “What we call our data are really our own constructions of other people’s constructions of what they and their compatriots are up to. The specific form this influence has taken is in the consciousness of the rhetorical and literary character of ethnographic accounts. One example of this type is Abraham Cahan’s The Rise of David Levinsky (1917). Ethnic Perspectives in American Literature. ethnography In cultural anthropology. becomes a successful businessman. set in Chicago’s Greek-American community. detailing the conflict between father and son over the son’s desire to marry someone outside the community. GREEK-AMERICAN LITERATURE. ITALIAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE. Examples are the emphasis on the underlying unity of mental and sensory experience described 149 . edited by Robert Di Pietro and Edward Ifkovic (1983). HISPANIC-AMERICAN LITERATURE. JEWISH-AMERICAN LITERATURE.” Further complicating the issue is the question of the extent to which the form itself embodies narrative conventions associated with literature. A striking example of this innovation is James Boon’s demonstration of the parallels between the structuralist anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss and the French symbolist poets Charles Baudelaire and Stéphane Mallarmé. Another notable example is Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club (1989). a portrait of a Russian Jew who emigrates. The result has been that cultural anthropology has begun to examine some of its own assumptions regarding the accuracy and objectivity of ethnographic description. Second-generation writers tend to emphasize the conflicting loyalties and estrangement from their parents that spring from the process of “Americanization. See also AFRICANAMERICAN LITERATURE. often reflected through the perspective of a particular writer’s generation. but in the process loses the deep religious connections that forged his basic identity. CHINESE-AMERICAN LITERATURE. a moving account of the gap between the experience of Chinese-American immigrant women and their daughters. In the words of anthropologist Clifford Geertz. ARMENIAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE. and NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURE. ARAB-AMERICAN LITERATURE.ETHNOGRAPHY The immigrant experience plays a central role in this literature. ethnography has exhibited the influences of STRUCTURALISM and POSTSTRUCTURALISM. Firstgeneration ethnic writers frequently focus on the contrast of values and beliefs in the old country and those in their new home. KOREAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE.

as in Shakespeare’s “But look. u) and liquid consonants (l. VALUE JUDGMENT. agreeable sound. balanced constructions. focusing on the activities of an individual VILLAIN or on an injustice. or movement. .” The opposing term to euphony is CACOPHONY. however. . and analogies drawn from natural history. r) contribute to a euphonious effect. By the 1590s. The term is used in literary study to refer to a governing principle in an institution. euphuism A late 16th-century. antitheses.” euphony A pleasing. Clifford Geertz’s discussion forms a part of his The Interpretation of Cultures (1973). where Falstaff speaks to Prince Hal in euphuistic prose: “for though the camomile the more it is trodden on the faster it grows. Shakespeare parodied the style in the Tavern Scene of Henry IV. In the former category lies the bulk of literary interest. The connection between literary and ethnographic studies has been further strengthened by NEW HISTORICISM. the ethical character that a speaker projects in his efforts to persuade an audience. the sooner it wears. a destructive force or condition broadly classified as either human (moral evil) or supernatural (metaphysical evil). idea. highly mannered style developed by John Lyly in his Euphues: The Anatomy of Wit (1578) and Euphues and His England (1580). but in woes also. In the 1580s. The combination of words connoting serenity and nature along with the use of long vowels (o. euphuism became a fad at the English court of Elizabeth I. not in words only. for Harry. not in pleasure but in passion.” 150 . Part One. ethos In RHETORIC.ETHOS in Baudelaire’s poem “Correspondances” and Lévi-Strauss’s descriptions in his Mythologies. a leading figure in the critique of anthropology associated with POSTSTRUCTURALISM. traditionally associated with lyric poetry. conflicted impulses of a person who is his or her “own worst enemy. . such as slavery. James Boon’s study is From Symbolism to Structuralism (1972). evil In literature. . . . which is heavily indebted to the work of Michel Foucault. Also included in this category would be psychological evil—the selfdestructive. yet youth the more it is wasted.” evaluation See CRITICISM. now I do not speak to thee in drink but in tears. the morn in russet mantle clad. inaugurated and perpetuated by human agency. Features of the style included samplings of alliteration. as in “the ethos of capitalism” or “the ethos of the Beat generation. m.

Iago’s apparent lack of a motive for his actions. William Myers applies Bataille’s thesis in his study of Evelyn Waugh. the Marquis de Sade. The malevolent or apparently malevolent deity is evident in the Book of Job where Evil is designed as a test of the human spirit.EXISTENTIALISM Still another subdivision would be the BANALITY OF EVIL. he is an all-too-human one. exemplum A tale designed to illustrate a moral lesson. attempts to provide an explanation for the existence of evil in the world: Either the divinity. the author of Good. The concept of metaphysical or supernatural evil. Thus his study focuses on writers. A darker view is captured in Gloucester’s despairing cry in Shakespeare’s King Lear: “As flies to wanton boys are we to the Gods/They kill us for their sport. but if he is a devil. Writing in the tradition of the POÈTE MAUDIT. who explored the darkest sides of life aligned with madness and death. Evelyn Waugh and the Problem of Evil (1991). The form was popular in the MIDDLE AGES. rooted in the 19th century.” hints at a diabolism. See ETHICAL CRITICISM.” On the border between supernatural and human evil are ambiguous figures such as Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello. existentialism A philosophical and literary movement. his “motiveless malignity. and Charles Baudelaire. such as William Blake. which he sees as the violent and erotic impulses that are suppressed in ordinary life. Bataille identifies literature with evil. the source of Evil—or the Divinity itself is part evil. on the other hand. exegesis The analysis or interpretation of a portion of a TEXT. usually a passage or a key phrase. a term coined by the 20th-century philosopher Hannah Arendt to describe those who are unquestioning servants of an evil system. “The Pardoner’s Tale” in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales is a representative example: It is a story cast in the form of a sermon on the theme of money as the root of all evil. The Devil figure has been a staple of literature from the temptation of Eve to the mocking Mephistopheles of Goethe’s Faust. has a mirror-image opposite—a Satan figure. This 151 . The term is used most often in interpretations of the Bible. to Anne Rice’s Memnoch the Devil (1995). the writer as outlaw. that came into prominence in the aftermath of World War II. evolution See DARWINISM. Evil in another sense is the subject of the French theorist Georges Bataille’s Literature and Evil (1973).

In the attempt to avoid that awareness. were adapted and made more 152 . (One example might be to describe what happens when a person reads the writing on a page.) Husserl’s method was adopted by his pupil Martin Heidegger. that one’s individual “essence” is nothing more than the sum total of one’s existence. at bottom.” One 19th-century progenitor of existentialism was Søren Kierkegaard. The existential formula expressing this conception is “Existence precedes essence. who proclaimed the “death of God. Dasein is a time-bound being who is aware of. In Being and Time (1927). the growing conviction that life was. The subsequent development of existentialist thought grew out of the philosophical method called PHENOMENOLOGY. and riddled with anxiety by.EXISTENTIALISM historical context helps to explain the broad appeal of the movement.” The other forerunner was Friedrich Nietzsche. thus living an “inauthentic” life. the prophet of both existentialism and POSTMODERNISM. while humanistic existentialism celebrated the strength of the human mind. a Danish theologian who depicted the individual as estranged from God and needing to make an absurd “leap of faith.” Kierkegaard and Nietzsche represent the two strains of the movement that were to persist into the 20th century. the knowledge of his own death. Existentialism mirrored the spiritual crisis that had become palpable in the wake of the war: ALIENATION. An example of the latter is the statement “all men are mortal. All of these attitudes and ideas were given powerful and explicit voice in existentialist thought. PHILOSOPHY Central to existentialism is a critique of the traditional idea that within each human being there is an essence: a universal. In place of this conception of humanity as a shared collective essence. the sense of anxiety and guilt. meaningless.” a truth rendered abstract and unreal by its universal formulation. capable of confronting the ultimate meaninglessness of existence. Dasein uses language to shield himself. Heidegger provides a phenomenological description of human existence which he calls DASEIN (being there). Husserl’s method consisted of a rigorous attempt to describe what happens when a subject perceives an object. later to form the basis of HERMENEUTICS. a life of denial characterized by depersonalizing generalizations. as developed by the German philosopher Edmund Husserl. the loss of sustaining religious beliefs. The religious strain attempted to demythologize the New Testament (see DEMYTHOLOGIZING). in saying “all men” we arm ourselves against the reality of “I am mortal. defining characteristic that is independent of existence.” Heidegger’s arcane and difficult ideas. existentialism focuses on the fact that we create ourselves through our choices. religious and humanistic existentialism.

Herman Melville. 1930–43). Among works that reflect the religious influence of Kierkegaard are Flannery O’Connor’s short stories and her novel The Violent Bear It Away (1960). The Trial. and Leo Tolstoy that anticipated major existential themes. 1956) and plays (Caligula. undergoing the crisis of anxiety and loss of faith that are the existentialist preconditions for the discovery of the self. Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener (1853) recounts the fate of a man who pays the ultimate price for the assertion of his right to choose.” are defined by choice. In addition to Sartre’s major philosophical work. Ikiru (1960). The protagonists of these novels are in search of their true identities. Woody Allen’s films reflect these ideas in the anxietyridden. his novels. Among American works influenced by existentialism.” Sartre was joined in this effort by his compatriot Albert Camus in his novels (The Stranger. 153 . These themes were articulated with deeply ominous overtones in the novels and stories of Franz Kafka (“Metamorphosis. Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground (1864) is a passionate monologue by an embittered. such as Nausea (1939). whose work bridged the gap between literature and philosophy. 1942. Being and Nothingness (1943).” 1915. 1944). in Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Avventura (1959). the most notable are Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man (1952). Saul Bellow’s Herzog (1964). and by Simone de Beauvoir. Another outgrowth of literary existentialism was the development of the theater of the ABSURD. The Fall. and Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer (1961). In film. angry. and Norman Mailer’s American Dream (1965). existentialist ideas and moods are pervasive in Ingmar Bergman’s early work. which struck a responsive chord in readers engulfed in the malaise that swept post-war Europe. death-obsessed characters he plays. whose The Second Sex (1949) presented these ideas from a feminist perspective. particularly in works by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. and plays. particularly The Seventh Seal (1956). LITERATURE As in philosophy. In the comic vein.EXISTENTIALISM accessible by Jean Paul Sartre. literary existentialism is also rooted in the 19th century. and Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilych (1884) portrays a man coming to terms with his own death. and are in need of “commitment. and in Akira Kurosawa’s memorable version of The Death of Ivan Ilych. self-destructive figure defiantly asserting his freedom in the face of a society increasingly controlled by technology. 1925) and Robert Musil (The Man Without Qualities. brought to a wide audience his ideas that we are “condemned to be free. such as No Exit (1945).

explication A form of critical analysis that involves the “close reading” of a literary text. clearly written overview of existentialist thought. the introductory part of a formal speech. realists and impressionists were too concerned with the surface of reality and reproducing the appearance of things. In composition the term is used to indicate a straightforward explanation of a topic in essay form. exordium In RHETORIC.) expressionism A movement in literature and art in the early 20th century that sought to go beyond REALISM on the one hand and IMPRESSIONISM on the other. it was the Swedish dramatist August Strindberg who anticipated the spirit of the movement. The opening scene of Shakespeare’s Hamlet is often cited as a model of highly effective exposition. and anticipates the conflict. Expressionism called for art to go beyond imitation. Close reading requires a careful examination of the language and structural features of a work. and distorted representations of reality. all of which reject the principle of autonomous selfhood. In Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” (1863). explains the background. The aim of the exordium is to catch the attention of the audience. (See COMPOSITION STUDIES. Nathan Scott’s Rehearsals of Discomposure (1952) offers a religious interpretation of this literature. particularly of lyric poems. The term explication derives from the French phrase explication de texte. The author’s challenge is to supply these elements without losing the interest of the audience or reader. a French school exercise in which students are required to carefully analyze brief passages of literature. fantasy.EXORDIUM The repudiation of existentialist ideas was signaled in France by the rise of the NEW NOVEL and the emergence of STRUCTURALISM and POSTSTRUCTURALISM. represented by a range of artistic devices including symbolism. discards all the traditions of the 154 . to plunge into the formless depths of the human psyche. his use of “fourscore” in place of “eighty” is an example of an attention-getting device within an exordium. William Barrett’s Irrational Man (1958) gives an intelligent. exposition The part of a play or fiction that sets up the main action. Strindberg’s To Damascus (1898–1901). introduces the characters. For the expressionists. Although Germany was the center of expressionism in the years before and after World War I. It is a characteristic feature of both NEW CRITICISM and DECONSTRUCTION. Sartre’s What Is Literature? (1949) provides an interesting application of existentialism to literary criticism. regarded by some as the first expressionist play.

EXTRINSIC/INTRINSIC STUDY OF LITERATURE realistic theater to present a drama in which every character represents a part of one soul in search of its own identity. particularly in the genre known as FILM NOIR. for example in relation to the 155 . 1917). dance. Their experiments had a strong influence on the English poetic movement known as vorticism. The influence of expressionism was also felt in German lyric poetry. S. R. and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927). Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922) and The Last Laugh (1924). Furness’s Expressionism (1973) is a study of the movement in Germany and its influence on 20th-century literature. and elaborate sets. extravaganza A spectacular theatrical entertainment usually employing music. German expressionist drama flourished from 1910 until 1929. these films focus on the alienating pressures of modern urban society and the piercing truths that the mind discovers only when it is in a disordered and deranged state. 1912. The influence of these films is evident in many later films. Other examples of non-German expressionist drama are Elmer Rice’s The Adding Machine (1925) and Sean O’Casey’s The Silver Tassie (1929). Cinematic expressionism is distinguished by distorted effects of the camera and bizarre images in setting. such as stage performances at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. Among the classics of expressionist film are Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. August Stramm. The Emperor Jones (1920) and The Hairy Ape (1921) exhibit the expressionist influence in their intense subjectivism and stylized settings. Caligari (1919). Extravaganzas were popular in England in the first half of the 19th century. all in the expressionist mode. The chief dramatist of this period was Georg Kaiser. W. extrinsic/intrinsic study of literature These terms refer to two ways of approaching a literary text: from the outside. who produced 24 plays between 1917 and 1923. Thematically. and Georg Heym. In Kaiser’s plays (notably From Morn to Midnight. But the most enduring monuments of the movement lay in the then-new art form of FILM. a reflection of the shattered modern consciousness shuttling from one extreme state to another in pursuit of unrealizable goals. characters frequently embody abstractions. makeup. Notable expressionist poets included Georg Trakl. and costume. F. Kaiser’s influence in the ’20s was evident in the expressionist plays of Eugene O’Neill. John Willett’s Expressionism (1970) looks at the political and social contexts of the movement. As currently used. and Gas. the term refers to any type of elaborate entertainment. James Robinson Planché’s The Island of Jewels (1849) was the most celebrated example of the type. Heavily influenced by Strindberg.

symbols. examining the formal elements of the work.” an inescapable part of the society in which it was written and in which it was later read. psychological. and with it. the attempt to bring the study of literature into line with scientific techniques. it might be approached from the inside. In the 1970s and ’80s. they maintained that intrinsic analysis dealt with the aesthetic features of the work. . or philosophical perspective. Where New Critics had claimed a special sphere of literary language. Alternatively. reasserted the claims of the “extrinsic. 156 . or from a social. Wellek and Warren were clearly endorsing the NEW CRITICISM. The extrinsic/ intrinsic distinction first appeared in René Wellek and Austin Warren’s 1942 study A Theory of Literature. the emergence of THEORY. its setting. style. its environment. metaphors. guaranteeing that some version of the extrinsic/intrinsic controversy would continue. as the aesthetic claim reassumed its traditional place. images. and underlying myth. its language. and they were rejecting the legacy of 19th-century positivism. Thus “A Theory of Literature” gave way to Theory. poised at that time to take a commanding position in American literary criticism. that the world is a TEXT.” arguing that literature is a “social practice. René Wellek’s The Attack on Literature (1983) contains his response to later developments in critical theory. But by the 1990s the influence of theory had begun to wane. the intrinsic to the extrinsic. In their analysis the authors argued for the superiority of the intrinsic over what they described as “the most widespread and flourishing methods of studying literature.EXTRINSIC/INTRINSIC STUDY OF LITERATURE AUTHOR’s biography. .” While acknowledging the value of other disciplines in shedding light on a literary work. theorists argued that all language stood at the same remove from reality. its external causes.

Originating in France. who used the form for the “Miller’s Tale. particularly satire. whose 17th-century collection in verse continues to represent the standard for the form. Blackman’s The Fable as Literature (1985) surveys the history of the form.ååå f å Fabian society A society founded in 1884 by a group of English intellectuals who advocated a modified form of socialism.C. fable A short NARRATIVE in prose or verse in which the action of the charac- ters. and they appear occasionally in other literary forms. fabliaux employed slapstick and broad humor sufficiently subversive to qualify as a form of CARNIVAL. A lively translation of French fabliaux is available in Robert Hellman and Richard O’Gorman’s Fabliaux: Ribald Tales from the Old French (1965). H.). tales in verse popular in Europe during the MIDDLE AGES. usually animals. 157 . The earliest examples of the type are those associated with the name of Aesop (sixth century B. J. conveys a moral lesson. Fables are a recurrent feature of FOLKLORE. The fabliau was adapted for use by Boccaccio in his Decameron (1350) and by Chaucer. Rejecting the idea of a socialist revolution. Notable examples of the satiric fable are Chaucer’s “Nun’s Priest’s Tale” from The Canterbury Tales and George Orwell’s Animal Farm (1945). where they satirized courtly romances and other aristocratic forms.” the “Reeve’s Tale. frequently bawdy. which led to the formation of the British Labor Party in 1900. the Fabians advocated the gradual transformation of English government. Aesop was the chief source of the fables of Jean de La Fontaine.” and the “Summoner’s Tale” in his Canterbury Tales (1387–1400). Shaw edited Fabian Essays (1889). fabliau Humorous. The leading figures and spokespersons of the Society were Beatrice and Sidney Webb and George Bernard Shaw. Among the chief targets of these tales were the clergy and the institution of marriage.

FABULA/SJUZET Fabula/sjuzet See STORY. the happy ending (Tolkien uses the term eucatastrophe) that brings with it the promise of salvation. is that the fall is a metaphor for the nameless sense of guilt that grips many. In “On Fairy Stories” (1947) J. Among sophisticated postmodern adaptations of the fairy tale are Donald Barthelme’s novel SnowWhite (1967) and Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway MUSICAL Into the Woods (1989). fall. escape—not an escape from the real world but a breakthrough into another reality. R. Albert Camus’s MYTH 158 . fanciful story that may feature witches. The Arabian Nights (also known as The Thousand and One Nights) contains among its 264 tales a number of fairy tales of the Middle East. This is the sense in which the term is used in such modern works as Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness (1902). Perrault’s collection contained a frontispiece with the words “Contes de ma Mère l’Oye” (“Tales of Mother Goose”). R. fairy tale A form of CHILDREN’S LITERATURE consisting of a short. and consolation. standing at the onset of human history. on the other hand. Rooted in oral tradition and folk literature. people. exhibited the triumph of good over evil. The modern view. if not all. Tolkien describes the four basic elements of fairy tales: fantasy—freedom from the domination of observed fact. Bruno Bettelheim’s The Uses of Enchantment (1976) makes a strong argument for the importance of fairy tales in the emotional and intellectual development of young children. since it resulted in Christ’s redemption of the world. dragons. recovery—the return to ordinary life with a renewed spirit. a shot that appears out of blackness (fade in) or moves into black- ness (fade out). Tolkien’s essay appears in his collection Tree and Leaf (1964). Tolkien’s structural breakdown of the fairy tale corresponds to some degree with the “AS IF” FICTIONS of Hans Vaihinger. the fairy tale is of ancient origin. By extension. fade In FILM. the fall refers to the of the fallen state of humankind. the A term referring to the biblical story of ORIGINAL SIN and the subse- quent expulsion from the Garden of Eden. In this respect it is the primal story. The most famous European collections are those of the brothers Grimm in Germany. Another view of the value of fairy tales is that of the child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim. and Charles Perrault in France. and fairy godmothers. an explanation for the universal human experience of the loss of innocence. The Christian doctrine of the FORTUNATE FALL maintains that the fall of Adam and Eve. Hans Christian Andersen in Denmark. wicked stepmothers.

false consciousness See IDEOLOGY. family romance In psychoanalysis. and STOCK CHARACTERS. the brink of disaster. the FABLE. Eric Rabkin’s The Fantastic (1976) examines both fantasy and the fantastic. One form of the fantastic is the genre of MAGIC REALISM. fancy See IMAGINATION/FANCY. Tarzan in Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan of the Apes (1914). William Golding’s The Lord of the Flies (1955). The 19th-century French farceur Georges Feydeau developed the form known as “Bedroom Farce. and the interplanetary foundling Clark Kent in Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster’s Superman (1938). Barrie’s Peter Pan (1904). fantasy constitutes a broad category that includes literary types such as the FAIRY TALE. Perdita in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. whose escapades lead them to. visual effects. Tom Jones in Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones (1749). RENAISSANCE. and some versions of ROMANCE. Stephen Mitchell’s Philosophical Myths of the Fall (2005) examines its use by modern philosophers. R. farce appears to be as old as DRAMA itself. Examples of fantasy include J. the child’s fantasy of being adopted by one’s real parents.FARCE The Fall (1956). medieval. the child (frequently of noble birth) who is abandoned. A related term is the fantastic. R. With some variations. referring to a literary type that mixes realistic and supernatural elements without offering an explanation to the reader. the biblical Moses. and modern theater. SCIENCE FICTION. but never beyond. particularly celebrated examples of which are Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) and Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987).” so named for action centering on the mishaps 159 . fast moving action. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (1954–56) and James M. examples of the story include Oedipus in Greek legend. then discovered and raised by simple people. Greek drama. a staple in folk plays. Always a popular form. Literature gives expression to this idea in the recurrent story of the foundling. fantasy A form of literature characterized by highly imaginative or supernatu- ral events. farce A type of dramatic comedy characterized by broad. Terry Otten’s After Innocence:Visions of the Fall in Modern Literature (1982) offers a broad overview of the topic. As such. and Arthur Miller’s After the Fall (1964).

edited by Lisa Apprignanesi and Sara Maitland (1990). Harold Lloyd. Eliot to describe Christopher Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta (1590). recalls the etymology of the term: the word farce derives from the French cooking term meaning “stuffing.FATWA deriving from attempted seductions. This tradition has retained its popularity. in Mack Sennett’s Keystone Kops. after extended negotiations with the British government. Bedroom Farce. Rushdie. The decree was issued as a response to Rushdie’s The SatanicVerses (1988). Iranian authorities rescinded the death sentence.” The term “tragic farce” was also employed by T. whose A Night at the Opera (1935) contains a scene that may be said to sum up the essence of farce. the term referred to interludes of broad humor inserted (that is. a novel regarded as insulting to Islam in general and to the prophet Mohammed in particular. has publicly apologized and declared himself to be a faithful Muslim. symbolized by a pact with the Devil. satiric fantasy. quintessentially. provides a documentary history of the affair. in which a long farcical sequence ends in the death of one of the characters. containing a character loosely based on Mohammed. Buster Keaton. “stuffed”) into medieval religious dramas.This episode. Using farce to represent the utter chaos and meaninglessness of life. particularly in the work of the English playwright Alan Ayckbourn (The Norman Conquests. 160 . fatwa An Arabic term meaning a religious ruling or decree. Faustian theme The generic term for stories of people whose lust for absolute knowledge drives them to tragic extremes. Albert Bermel’s Farce: From Aristophanes toWoody Allen (1982) examines the genre in a wide variety of forms. farce and sharp wit were combined in the films of the Marx Brothers. in which an impossibly large number of people are jammed into a small stateroom. The term was brought to world attention in 1989 when the Iranian government of Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the execution of the novelist Salman Rushdie. S. Living under the threat of assassination since that time. Satanic Verses is an irreverent. who is depicted as a confused and conflicted figure with doubts about his own faith. an English citizen.” Originally. absurdist dramatists have created a form sometimes characterized as “tragic farce. The advent of the theater of the ABSURD has lent new meaning to the term. and. Jean Renoir provides a brilliant example in his film Rules of the Game (1939). In 1998. The Rushdie File. 1975). With the advent of sound in films. 1973. in which the CHASE played a central role. Silent films ushered in the golden age of farce in the movies of Charlie Chaplin.

Faustus (1588–92). J.” Modern comic versions of the story include Stephen Vincent Benet’s The Devil and Daniel Webster (1937) and Douglas Wallop’s The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant (1954). which in a line of iambic pentameter usually counts as an extra syllable. The American poet Karl Shapiro. Smeed’s Faust in Literature (1975) traces the history of the figure. later transformed into the successful Broadway and film MUSICAL DamnYankees (1957. in which Faust is saved because of his constant searching and striving. operated in 40 states. Some critics have also seen in Faust the embodiment of the scientist’s arrogance that issued in the atomic age. Thus in Shakespeare’s line ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ To be or not to be. who emphasized the magical tricks of Faustus and downplayed the tragic aspects of the story. directors. The most notable 20th-century rendering of the theme is Thomas Mann’s Doktor Faustus (1947). Faustus was imitated by German writers of the 17th and 18th centuries. In Goethe’s great drama (Faust. provided the basis for Christopher Marlowe’s Tragical History of Dr. playing to audiences in the millions. Faust’s story illustrates the basic unity underlying the variety and complexity of life. which provided work for hundreds of actors. W. The project. An account of his life that incorporated medieval legends of selling souls to the devil. serious theater to people all over the United States. a 16th-century German scholar who experimented with alchemy and magic. reflects the Romantic belief in the ultimate goodness of the human soul. that is the question 161 . in which the story is recast as a commentary on the German people’s “pact” with Nazism.FEMININE ENDING The legend is based upon the career of Johann Faust. Part One. Its happy ending. 1832). funded by the federal government during the Depression of the 1930s. Marlowe’s play is notable for Faust’s celebration of the beauty of Helen of Troy and for its powerful conclusion in which Faustus is dragged screaming into Hell. The adaptation of Gotthold Lessing in 1759 restored the serious tone. Dr. describes Faust’s reemergence “In an American desert at war’s end. Following Goethe. 1808. and stage technicians. Part Two. emphasizing Faust’s lust for knowledge as his motive. playwrights. designed to provide inexpensive. 1958). scores of 19th-century writers attempted with little success to capture the essence of the figure. in “The Progress of Faust” (1946). feminine ending A term for an unstressed final syllable in a line of verse. published in 1587. Federal Theater Project A theatrical enterprise.

Lawrence. moving from a concentration on the representation of women in literature to the promotion and analysis of neglected women writers (GYNOCRITICISM) to a wide-ranging theoretical critique of traditional thought and social practice. This distinction was critical in reconsidering women writers who had traditionally been viewed as usurpers in the “male” domain of creativity. The consistent strain throughout this process has been the focus on PATRIARCHY. not only in its feminist subject matter but also in its abandonment of any pretense of objectivity.) De Beauvoir. Since its emergence in the late 1960s. the book generally regarded as the most influential of its predecessors is Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (1949). Woolf takes as the symbol of women who have been prohibited from freely exercising their creativity the hypothetical figure of “Shakespeare’s sister. Millett also touched on an issue of central importance in feminist thought. whose position as a prominent exponent of EXISTENTIALISM added prestige to her argument. and its cultural correlate. H. In focusing on the problems faced by women writers and their treatment in literary history. Millett’s book also represented a break with the critical tradition of the time.FEMINIST CRITICISM the eleventh syllable. the distinction between sex and gender. feminist criticism The application to literature of the principles of feminist theory. Sex is the biologically determined difference between men and women. Millett was angry and made no attempt to hide it. Mary Ellmann’s Thinking aboutWomen (1968) and Kate Millett’s Sexual Politics (1970) developed de Beauvoir’s approach further. 162 . feminist criticism has undergone a series of significant developments. -tion. feminists usually cite one critical text. Although feminist criticism emerged in the late ’60s.” one who should have been the creative equal of her brother. the accent falls on the final syllable.” (See SELF/OTHER. but who never had the opportunity to express herself. which discussed the relegation of women in literature and life to the category of the “Other. Thus feminist criticism sees itself as an extension of the social and political goals of feminism in general. In a masculine ending. is an example of a feminine ending. Feminine endings are a common feature in the BLANK VERSE of Renaissance English drama. rule by men. PHALLOCENTRISM. cited literary representations of women as “Other” in the novels of Stendhal and D. the product of social conditioning. while gender refers to the cultural differences. particularly because of its characterization of the image of women in Norman Mailer’s writing. Millett’s book became a cause célèbre. identifying the phallus as the source of POWER. prompting Mailer’s response in The Prisoner of Sex (1971). Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (1929).

” and the French feminist Monique Wittig has argued that lesbian is the more appropriate term for a feminist than woman since it redefines the female sex in nonpatriarchal terms. Monique Wittig’s argument is in The Lesbian Body (1975). has raised questions that have led to a broader theoretical debate involving questions such as the following: Will emphasis on a distinctive écriture féminine (WOMEN’S WRITING) result in the ghettoization of women’s literature. in whose name the highest ranking nobles held large tracts of lands known as fiefs. See also ESSENTIALISM. all land was the property of the King. and further subdivided down to the single man or estate. and economic system that dominated Europe in the MIDDLE AGES. feudalism A social. Alice Walker’s is in In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens (1983). In its ideal but not always actual form. The New Feminist Criticism. edited by Elaine Showalter (1985). In the 18th century.FEUDALISM With this possibility in mind. later transcribed by medieval monks. is a collection of important essays on the subject. who have suggested that the feminist agenda has been written by middle class white women without regard to the black woman’s double oppression of race and sex. for example. The novelist Alice Walker. a collection of heroic tales. These were divided among lesser nobles. See OSSIAN. allowing it existence as a subgenre but denying its entrance into the mainstream? Is there a danger of assuming a monolithic category of “women’s literature” without recognizing the important historical and individual differences among women themselves? Among those who raise the second question are black feminist critics. has coined the term womanist to describe a feminist “of color. lesbian feminists have critiqued the heterosexual focus of early feminism. however. The lord in turn rented out his land to serfs or other peasants. In their emphasis on the forms and procedures of this hierarchical society. political. While not necessarily endorsing Walker’s and Wittig’s specific suggestions. feminists have uncovered a rich repository of long overlooked literature written by women. Feudal society was an elaborate hierarchical structure. medieval ROMANCE and the CHANSON DE GESTE are two literary genres that rest upon the assumptions of feudalism. poems attributed to Ossian enjoyed great popularity until they were exposed as forgeries. Fenian cycle In Gaelic literature. Similarly. Jacqueline Rose’s On Not Being Able to Sleep (2003) is another important study. who worked the land and owed fidelity and service to the lord. orally transmit- ted in the pre-Christian era. 163 . a poet. many feminists would agree on the need to break from the constraints of male-dominated DISCOURSE. The Fenian cycle celebrates the deeds of Finn MacCool and his son Ossian. This recovery. ruled by the seigneur (lord).

” Recently this question has become more complex as a result of the poststructuralist view. Harold Bloom’s comment appears in the introduction to The Gospels (1988). Many Jewish scholars. which sees all narrative—fiction and nonfiction—governed by principles of which their practitioners are frequently unaware.d.” not represented as factual. figural interpretation “establishes a connection between two persons or events in such a way that the first signifies not only itself but also the second. THE. From this perspective. narrative history or ETHNOGRAPHY—shares with fiction an underlying structure common to all stories: They are narratives constructed according to the rules of their genres. nonfictional prose—for example. the made-up character of fiction underscores its essential triviality. by the early Church Fathers of the idea that figures and events in the Old Testament are prototypes of comparable people or actions in the New Testament. many elements—characters. scenes. These critics sometimes invoke Shakespeare’s Hamlet’s observation. Defenders of fiction usually point out that the association of truth with fact belies the complexity and many-faceted aspects of truth. this type of interpretation represented a radical departure from the traditional classical rendering of historical events./Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. and so on—are “made up. while a biography of Lincoln would be considered nonfiction. while the second involves or fulfills the first. Auerbach’s discussion of figural interpretation appears in Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature (1953). For those who view fact as synonymous with truth. the Old Testament.FICTION fiction A general term for any form of NARRATIVE that is invented or imagined as opposed to being factual. rather than transparent recordings of reality. notably Harold Bloom. speeches. 164 . since it introduces the concept of a divine plan governing reality. a form of fiction. historical subordination of the Hebrew Bible to the Christian Bible and see figural interpretation as another “instance of how the New Testament reduced the Hebrew bible to that captive work. In the words of the scholar Erich Auerbach. figural interpretation The introduction in the first century a. Thus Gore Vidal’s Lincoln (1984) is a NOVEL. Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac was interpreted by the Fathers as a prototype of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross in which Isaac’s near sacrifice is “fulfilled” in Jesus’ actual sacrifice.The distinction is that although the novel is based on historical research. Horatio. For Auerbach. Thus. “There are more things in heaven and earth.” See BIBLE. regard the terms Old Testament/New Testament as an expression of the long.

the CAPER FILM. two terms whose connotations illustrate the ambivalent history of film. the SERIAL. A number of noir directors—Billy Wilder (Double Indemnity. The major nonfiction category is the DOCUMENTARY film. theoretical approaches to film. with an emphasis on the play of shadows and light. the HORROR FILM. and SHOT are essential in the vocabulary of film. DEEP FOCUS. Synonyms for the latter sense of the term are cinema and movies. the lighting of the noir film was dark. film noir A term coined by French film critics to describe a type of American film produced in the 1940s and ’50s that was literally and figuratively “dark” (noir). 1944). Robert Siodmak (The Killers. the noir film was dark in its representation of modern life as an urban wilderness. Literally. As a photographic medium.FILM NOIR film A general term for a particular motion picture or for motion pictures in general. some have seen noir films. MONTAGE. which usually ended unhappily. The major influences on film noir were the American DETECTIVE STORY. DISSOLVE. Film is a happy compromise. 1946). and the SCREWBALL COMEDY. Otto Preminger (Laura. Terms such as CLOSE-UP. and the WESTERN. SCIENCE FICTION. see FILM THEORY. film has developed a technical language to deal with its organization of space and time. FREEZE FRAME. most of the action occurred at night. ESTABLISHING SHOT. movies that it is popular entertainment. Fictional films employ the traditional generic terms of literature and drama. and the cinematic techniques associated with German EXPRESSIONISM. particularly the novels of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. 1944). Thomas and Vivian Sobchack’s An Introduction to Film (1980) provides a comprehensive primer on the subject. CUT. 1953)—were Germans or Austrians who had fled their countries after the rise of Hitler. Figuratively. They had absorbed expressionism in their youth (Fritz Lang had been one of the 165 . as critiques of an American culture that celebrated success. a term that can connote both art and entertainment. such as comedy and romance. like verbal NARRATIVEs. For a discussion of critical. In addition to this theme of ALIENATION. and Fritz Lang (The Big Heat. its hero a disillusioned drifter or (after World War II) an ex-GI whose war experiences had left him estranged from society and himself. Films that tell a story are. Cinema suggests that film is an art form. Film genres that derive from literary forms include the DETECTIVE STORY. the GANGSTER FILM. divided into two basic categories: fiction and nonfiction. but film also has developed certain distinctive genres of its own such as FILM NOIR.

lacking big name stars. and Samuel Fuller’s Pickup on South Street (1953). as a window it becomes a powerful vehicle for representing reality. Christian Metz’s Film Language: A Semiotics of the Cinema (1968) views film as a type of language. which identified the director as the film equivalent of the AUTHOR of a literary work. Another important contribution to realist theory was Sigfried Kracauer’s Theory of Film:The Redemption of Reality (1960). the application of the linguistic study of the SIGN to film. the principal contributor to the French film journal Cahiers du Cinema. 166 . and Film Form. One offshoot of the New Wave was the development of the AUTEUR theory. These developments have led to the charge that film theory has strayed too far from home. This debate between formalism (frame) and realism (window) dominated the first three decades of theory. and John Dahl’s The Last Seduction (1994). becoming increasingly abstract and removed from the reality of the viewer’s experience. and psychoanalytical concepts. offers a complete reference guide to the genre. (1950). 1942. so-called neo-noir.A. a series of codes or conventions that have become internalized by filmgoers.O.FILM THEORY foremost expressionist directors) and found the shadowy world of noir an ideal context for those techniques. one of the best known theorists was André Bazin. political. 1949) and Rudolph Arnheim (Film as Text. Elements of the genre have been retained in many subsequent. produced on a low budget. 1957). Rudolph Mate’s D. In the 1960s film theory moved in a significant new direction under the influence of SEMIOTICS. Film Noir.” Viewed as a frame. Another distinctive feature of the genre was that many of them were “B” fi lms. edited by Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward (3rd edition. which argues that film is an ordered vision of real life not available to the naked eye. Prominent formalists included the great Russian director Sergei Eisenstein (Film Sense. Among the realists. Some examples of low-budget noir classics include Edgar Ulmer’s Detour (1945). Founded in 1951. film theory The theoretical discussion of the nature and meaning of FILM. Cahiers du Cinema became the home of the French NEW WAVE movement in which such filmmakers as François Truffaut and JeanLuc Godard developed the theories that underlay their films. films including Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976). designed to serve as the second feature in the “double feature” format of fi lmgoing in this period. In its early years the debate over the nature of film centered on the question of whether it offered viewers a “frame” or a “window. In recent years semiotics has incorporated cultural. film is conceived of as a visual work of art. Allan Pakula’s Klute (1971). 1988).

but for all time. 2nd edition (1979). A particularly effective example of this type is the Errol Morris documentary The Thin Blue Line (1988). two of the principal actors of The King’s Men.FLYING DUTCHMAN Dudley Andrew’s The Major Film Theories: An Introduction (1976) offers an excellent overview of the subject. They saw the role of the artist as a critic of society. half of which had never been published before. Occasionally the flashback will involve a return to a scene that the audience has already witnessed. Flying Dutchman A ghostly ship that. which constantly flashes back to the crime that is the center of the film. seven years after the playwright’s death. edited by Gerald Mast and Marshall Cohen. Shakespeare’s theatrical company. In the version of the legend followed by Richard Wagner 167 . Film Theory and Criticism. This type of flashback may be repeated a number of times. The prefatory material in the Folio includes a commendatory poem by Ben Jonson that includes his famous description of Shakespeare as “not of an age. and Antony and Cleopatra would have been lost to later generations. published in 1623. each time from a slightly different angle. and the conventions of REALISM. aiming to shock the middle class (épater les bourgeois). Twelfth Night. First Folio The first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays. is a wide-ranging anthology of critical essays. Embracing the principles of DECADENCE and ART FOR ART’S SAKE. according to legend. each time acquiring added significance as the plot progresses. they proclaimed art’s (and the artist’s) freedom from the principles of morality. a change in the temporal sequence of the story so that it moves back to show events that took place earlier than those already shown. Without the work of Heminges and Condell and the publisher Isaac Jaggard. The Folio included a total of 36 plays. it is probable that such masterpieces as Julius Caesar.” Charlton Hinman’s The Printing and Proofreading of the First Folio of Shakespeare (1963) provides a meticulous reconstruction of the actual process of printing the book. Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane (1940) is an example of a film that makes extensive use of flashbacks. The book was published as a result of the efforts of John Heminges and Henry Condell. drifts aimlessly off the Cape of Good Hope. social justice. In this respect they created the model for later expressions of the literary AVANT-GARDE. flashback In film. fin de siècle (end of the century) A French phrase referring to the mood of many European artists and writers in the last decades of the 19th century. as five people who knew the protagonist recount their recollections of him. Macbeth.

speech. In contemporary African-American culture. his ship is fated to spend eternity futilely attempting to complete the journey. and the African novelist Chinua Achebe. the street competition known as “the dozens” bears a strong relation to the flyting tradition. Barber’s Shakespeare’s Festive Comedy (1959) offers a convincing example of the ways in which folk festivals and holidays can be integrated into the structure and content of later literature. there is a pervasive presence of folkloric elements in written literature. the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca. In the Western tradition alone. or stories that have been passed on orally from generation to generation. As a result. In Hamlet. The term also refers to the exchange of abuse between characters in epic poetry. a consequence of an oath by the ship’s boastful Dutch captain that nothing would prevent him from rounding the Cape. The competition was popular in the 15th and 16th centuries. practices.” folklore Generally. In contemporary criticism the connection between literature and folklore has been explored fruitfully in Albert Lord’s The Singer of Tales (1960). Laertes. Thus in DETECTIVE STORIES. L. legends. who commits thousands of soldiers to their deaths “even for an eggshell. folklore has played a critical role in the works of a wide range of writers such as the Irish poet William Butler Yeats. In addition to works that constitute FOLKTALES. Folklore has been an integral part of literature from its inception. the warrior prince. the ship is cursed. any aspect of a culture’s beliefs. Bruce Rosenberg’s “Literature and Folklore” in Interrelations of Literature (1982). a CHARACTER who functions as a contrast to a more important figure. edited by Jean-Pierre Barricelli and Joseph Gibaldi. the Prince speaks of “examples gross as earth” that spur him to action: the Player in “the player’s speech”. 168 . foil In FICTION and DRAMA. (See MYTH CRITICISM. a competition in verse in which two poets exchange insults. such central texts as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey appear to have been conceived and delivered originally as oral folk performances. C. a work that has been highly influential in recording the distinctive features of ORALITY/LITERACY. the slow-witted police inspector serves to heighten the intelligence of the amateur sleuth who is the hero of the story. who impulsively tries to avenge his father’s death. surveys the scholarly work in the field.FLYTING in his opera The Flying Dutchman (1843). flyting In Scottish literature. crafts. Folklore also plays a significant role as a constituent element of MAGIC REALISM. and Fortinbras.) In the 20th century.

FOREGROUNDING folktale A story handed down orally from generation to generation that becomes part of the tradition of a group of people.” in which the surprise of the slang phrase has a strong impact on the reader. and MYTH. Other metrical feet (found in QUANTITATIVE VERSE and rarely in English) are: ˘ ‚ ˘ AMPHIBRACH collected ‚ ˘ ‚ AMPHIMACER criticize ‚ ˘ ˘ ‚ CHORIAMB tired of life Amphibrach and amphomacer are also three-syllable feet. LEGEND. The most common feet in English are: ˘ ‚ IAMB again ‚ ˘ TROCHEE pity ˘ ˘ ‚ ANAPEST intercept ‚ ˘ ˘ DACTYL desperate ‚ ‚ SPONDEE barroom Iamb. Oral transmission allows for continuing development and alteration of the story. 169 . An example is X. foregrounding The use of language in such a way that it calls attention to itself. it remains a folktale. One form of foregrounding would be the insertion of slang in the middle of a traditional style. See also ORALITY/LITERACY. The folktale may include a wide range of types including the FABLE. dactyl and anapest are three-syllable feet. and spondee are two-syllable feet. setting it off from the ordinary language of the text. J. Once a folktale assumes a written form. a term coined by Jan Mukarovsky of the PRAGUE SCHOOL. each of which is treated as accented (stressed) or unaccented (unstressed). Foregrounding is the English translation of the Czech word aktualisace. Kennedy’s “The goose that laid the golden egg/Died looking up its crotch. foot A unit of METER consisting of two or more syllables. Choriamb contains four-syllables. FAIRY TALE. early advocates of linguistic STRUCTURALISM. but its form becomes fixed. trochee.

“language. Formalism is most prominently associated with two important schools of 20th-century criticism. and the relevance of the novel to the author’s biography. Thus any text has a generic form as well as a specific one. RUSSIAN FORMALISM and NEW CRITICISM. Genre (1978). In this sense.FORESHADOWING foreshadowing The hint in a NARRATIVE of later developments. the role of women. and TEXTURE. Russian formalists concentrated on defining the distinguishing features of literature as reflected in devices such as DEFAMILIARIZATION and FOREGROUNDING. while the description of a graveyard with “five or six graves” foreshadows the fate of the traveling family in Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find. form also continues to be used frequently in conjunction with CONTENT. Despite the influence of contemporary theory. in which “thought” is seen as prior to. It is frequently invoked in the context of ORGANIC FORM. internal form. structural oppositions. M. O’Toole and Ann Shukman. Comparison. dating back to Plato. or biographical factors. while ignoring such topics as 19th-century class consciousness. A formalist analysis of Henry James’s Washington Square (1880). 170 STRUCTURE. form implies a position of philosophical idealism. might tend to focus on recurrent images. the argument associated with ROMANTICISM that a literary text is a living organism. Critics generally agree that in determining the meaning(s) of a text. TENSION. Formalism: History. and independent of. formalism An approach to literature that analyzes its internal features (its example) and minimizes or ignores its relations to historical. it is necessary to consider form and content as inextricably linked. form remains the preferred term. edited by L. Foreshadowing may assume a variety of forms: Hedda’s toying with a pistol early in Ibsen’s play Hedda Gabler anticipates her eventual suicide. like a tree. For many contemporary theorists. for example. the latter taken to be the “what” as opposed to the formal “how” of a text. and features such as FORESHADOWING. social. is a collection of essays on the subject. TEXTURE. for .” form The organization of a work in terms of its overall design. Another common use of the term is as a synonym for GENRE or type. IRONY. and IMAGERY. The New Critics focused on elements of literary language such as AMBIGUITY. with a natural. form is closely related to the term STRUCTURE. The notion that form is simply an ornamental addition to content is one that has been discredited since the time of the NEW CRITICISM.” For traditional critics. Since the advent of structure has replaced form as the more commonly used term. STRUCTURALISM. however. political.

tropological In the Bible and literature. in literature. exclaims: O Goodness infinite. in which the facts of defeat and death are offset by the spiritual validation of the hero’s life. . Scott and David Wallace. In Tragedy and the Paradox of the Fortunate Fall (1958). The form was popular in the early Tudor period (1500–60) 171 . in fictional texts. a mirror of Christ’s redemption of mankind. Herbert Weisinger argues that this idea lies at the root of our experience of traditional tragedy. tropologically. Goodness immense That all this good of evil shall produce All evil turn to good . four levels of meaning A method of interpretation employed in the MIDDLE AGES to explore the various levels of significance of a literary or biblical text. a truth applicable to all people. Arthur O. the moral meaning of the text. anagogical In the Bible and literature. the exodus is a historical event. The redemption insured the possibility of salvation. In his famous Epistle X (“Letter to Can Grande”). Lovejoy in his Essays in the History of Ideas (1948) sketches the development of the idea. eternal life in heaven—a far more exalted state than existence in the earthly paradise of Eden.FOURTEENER fortunate fall (felix culpa) The doctrine that the fall of Adam and Eve was ultimately a victory for humankind in that it necessitated the redemption of the world by CHRIST. . a picture of death as a passage leading to eternal life. and anagogically. The term was coined by the literary historian Arthur Lovejoy to describe a passage in Book XII of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. the spiritual truth or mystical vision of the text. These four levels were characterized as follows: literal In the Bible. allegorically. Adam. the story. the historical event being described. also known as heptameter. edited by A. B. an account of an individual’s salvation. Medieval Literary Theory and Criticism (1988). Dante gives an example of fourfold EXEGESIS in the biblical story of the Exodus of the Jewish people from bondage in Egypt: literally. offers a detailed account of this interpretive practice. told of the coming of Christ and the eventual fate of mankind. fourteener A line of iambic verse consisting of 14 syllables (seven feet). allegorical Any person or event in the Old Testament who anticipates a figure in the New Testament.

” Thus. “Liberté. kills his half brother Edmund in a ritualized duel that underscores that play’s mythic past. Remus. In this extended sense of brotherhood. Prince Hamlet.). Edgar. the rallying cry of the French revolution. fratricide The biblical story of Cain and Abel stands as the archetype of the literature of fratricide. in fratricide. In this case. Cain is the outcast. In the last act of King Lear.With the Romantic era. The story of Eteocles and Polyneices. the scholar and critic Ricardo Quinones explores the uses of the Cain-Abel story in later literature. the embodiment of the self-conscious. however. however. a rebel against the dead or dying religious strictures still governing society. the possibility of its origins in primitive ritual. As ROMANTICISM gave way to MODERNISM. where the act from which the action springs is the murder of King Hamlet by his brother. This suggests sacrificial roots to the fratricidal story. Fraternité. not before being briefly revived by George Chapman for his translation of the Iliad (1605). One source of its appeal is the fact of brotherhood. In The Fratricides (1963). sons of Oedipus. a term that is a metaphor for profound human ties. involves the shedding of shared blood. Another source of the power of the theme is the shared blood of brothers. the sacrificial figure is the murdered king’s son. romantic hero. Such could be the case in the myth from which Aeschylus derived his tragedy Seven Against Thebes (467 b. Nikos Kazantzakis develops the extended use of “Brother” in his depiction of the Greek Civil War (1945–49). Cain’s killing of Abel resonates throughout Western history. which. his descendants cursed. requiring a sacrifice to ensure the well-being of the community. Cain emerges a restless seeker after truth. tormented. the legitimate son of the earl of Gloucester. As the primal murder. who kill each other in battle.” suggests that “Fraternite” (brotherhood) is one of the basic constituents of a just society. Another work rooted in sacrifice involving fratricide is Shakespeare’s Hamlet. fraternal ties in a remote mountain village. Romulus slays his twin brother. Although Kazantzakis’s novel does include the killing of one brother by another. cofounders of Rome. Claudius. Cain’s self-consciousness produced a divided sense of self.c. Other modern novels in which fratricide 172 . a threat to order and morality. He sees its development from a broad historical perspective. as represented notably in Lord Byron’s Cain (1831). but by ELIZABETHAN times it had fallen into disuse. leading to the DOPPELGÄNGER (the Double). Égalité. he uses the term to describe the victory of ideological fanaticism over the strong. as in “band of brothers. When alternated with a 12-syllable line. In his excellent study of the subject. the 14 formed a METER known as POULTER’S MEASURE. civil war is often seen as the ultimate fratricidal conflict. In the pre-ENLIGHTENMENT Christian era. evoking a variety of responses that have enriched literature.FRATRICIDE of English literature. has its Roman corollary in the myth of Romulus and Remus.

Theodore Adorno. led by the social philosopher Jurgen Habermas. on the fringe of the group. and Lowenthal on the reception of popular literature. representing his or her thoughts in a vocabulary and dialect appropriate to the character while maintaining the implicit presence of the author through the use of the third person. They weren’t 173 . and later in London and New York.” a wide ranging neo-Marxist analysis of culture and society. The technique places the reader inside a character’s mind. A typical example is in Katherine Mansfield’s short story “Miss Brill”: Oh. Adorno focused on the production of popular culture as a means of social control (see HEGEMONY). and the sociologist Leo Lowenthal. In recent years there has developed a “second generation” Frankfurt School. the psychologist Erich Fromm.FREE INDIRECT STYLE appears include James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room (1956). the theorist Walter Benjamin. and. . how fascinating it was! How she enjoyed it! How she loved sitting here watching it all! It was exactly like a play. Among the prominent figures associated with the School are the philosophers and social theorists Max Horkheimer. They were all on the stage. After World War II. “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1935). the Institute was reconstituted in Frankfurt. Popular Culture and Society (1961) looks at the social implications of popular art. which contains excerpts from the works of the major figures of the movement. Adorno. Benjamin has been an influential figure in the development of POSTMODERNISM. Leo Lowenthal’s Literature. John Cheever’s Falconer (1977) and Michael Ondaatje’s Anil’s Ghost (2000). Ricardo Quinones’s analysis is in his The Changes of Cain (1991). One of his best known essays. The School is best known for its doctrine of “critical theory. Who could believe the sky at the back wasn’t painted. Adorno and Lowenthal are best known for their attention to POPULAR CULTURE. . Andrew Arato and Eike Gebhardt have edited The Essential Frankfurt School Reader (1978). Frankfurt school The name given to a group of German intellectuals associated with the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt in the 1920s and ’30s. free indirect style In fiction. and Herbert Marcuse. . In literary studies the most important figures are Benjamin. a technique that combines third person narra- tion with the features of INTERIOR MONOLOGUE. Walter Benjamin’s essays have been collected in his Illuminations (1968). is a pioneering study of the impact of film and photography on general questions of art and criticism.

FREE VERSE only the audience looking in. Robert Frost described free verse disparagingly as “playing tennis without a net. they were acting. craftsmanship on the part of the poet. not easier. reversal. Similar principles were developed by the French SYMBOLISTS in initiating the vers libre (free verse) movement in the latter half of the 19th century. Freytag’s pyramid A description of the structure of a five-act play as developed by the German playwright Gustav Freytag in his Technique of Drama (1862). Freytag’s design features five movements: exposition. but it demands just as much. free verse has become the dominant poetic form. and denouement. Charles Hartman’s Free Verse: An Essay on Prosody (1980) and Timothy Steele’s Missing Measures: Modern Poetry and the Revolt against Meter (1990) are excellent studies of the form and history of free verse. whose Leaves of Grass (1855) constituted a free verse manifesto.” which has the effect of placing the NARRATOR between the reader and the story. It is employed to great effect in François Truffaut’s films The 400 Blows (1959) and Jules and Jim (1962).” but such a definition also implies a practice that makes the task harder. free verse Lines of poetry written without a regular METER and usually without RHYME. the great pioneer of the form was Walt Whitman. a single photograph from a SHOT that is reproduced and spliced into a sequence. in which the two outlaws are frozen at the moment of their deaths. Freudian criticism See PSYCHOANALYTICAL CRITICISM. climax. Free verse is aptly named in that it offers the poet the freedom to choose a unique rhythm for each poem. The result gives the effect of a frozen action. each one arranged in a pattern of rising and falling action: 174 . Although scattered examples of free verse appear in earlier poetry. See also DIEGESIS/MIMESIS. In the 20th century. Dorrit Cohn’s Transparent Minds (1978) considers this and other narrative techniques. complication. The advantage of the free indirect style is that it offers access to the character’s mind without resorting to tags such as “she thought. freeze frame In film. The technique is sometimes used in conjunction with stream of consciousness. or more. Even she had a part and came every Sunday. and in the final shot of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). The device is frequently used to underscore a specific idea or attitude toward the subject.

futurism A literary/artistic movement in early 20th-century Italy. Marinetti argued for a culture of efficiency. 1912–1928 (1988). is a collection of the Russian movement’s declarations. born out of impatience with the resistance to change that characterized Italian culture at the time. The movement was founded in 1909 by Tommaso Marinetti in Milan. along with poetry and criticism. Among its Russian adherents was the well known Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. They called for a reform of literature. art. demanding new forms and themes. edited by A. Eventually the Futurists moved beyond strictly literary concerns into the political and social spheres. The group published their views. and society. who in the 1920s argued for a return to an agricultural society in the South. in The Fugitive (1922–25) and later in The Southern Review (1935–42). the movement spread to Russia. Russian Futurism Through Its Manifestoes. modeled for him by American society. speed. Among the early group were Allen Tate. becoming allied with fascism. Lawton. and Robert Penn Warren. which came to power in Italy in 1922. three of the leading exponents of what was to become the NEW CRITICISM. but like DADA and SURREALISM. and invention. Futurism assumed a kind of official status in the early years of the Soviet state but was rejected finally in favor of SOCIALIST REALISM. calling for a rejection of the past and a celebration of modern technology. They viewed industrialization as a destructive force. As a result of Mayakovsky’s efforts. John Crowe Ransom. many of them faculty members of Vanderbilt University.FUTURISM rising action climax falling action complication reversal exposition denouement fugitive/agrarians The name for a group of Southern writers. In 1910. where it had a vogue because of its iconoclastic attitude toward the great Russian writers of the past. destined to undermine and distort traditional Southern values. Futurism produced very little literature of worth. The Futurists proclaimed “the beauty of speed” and a poetics wedded to the glorification of the machine. many of its ideas were incorporated by later writers. both of which it anticipated. 175 .

With the notable exception of Bonnie and Clyde (1967). One interesting adap176 . portrayed respectively by Edward G. the gangster-as-hero continued to appear in such Cagney films as Angels with Dirty Faces (1939) and The Roaring Twenties (1941). and. . fast-paced action. The postwar gangster film took a psychoanalytical turn in White Heat (1949). Even the corporate gangster. and with the emergence of the modern gang.” Recent notable examples of the genre are Miller’s Crossing (1990). Robinson. which resulted in later gangster films that emphasized the role of law enforcement officials. As a result. however. and riveting main characters. in which the heroic gangster is transformed into a corporate figure. is—ultimately—impossible. . which depicted Cagney’s Cody Jarrett as an oedipally fixated psychotic. and Paul Muni. particularly the FBI. The Long Good Friday (1981). James Cagney. This is our intolerable dilemma: that failure is a kind of death and success is evil and dangerous. Public Enemy (1931).” Warshow’s thesis is that the gangster film embodies the modern American sense of tragedy: “At bottom the gangster is doomed because he is under the obligation to succeed. All three films were suffused with urban violence. from England. he became the subject of three successful films that established the basic features of the genre: Little Caesar (1930). Nevertheless. Church groups and others objected to the charismatic qualities of such portrayals. and Scarface (1932). In the wake of the Prohibition Era. . 1974). (The 1990 sequel Godfather III elaborated further upon this metaphor. not because the means he employs are unlawful. the form suffered a decline in the 1950s and ’60s. reveals traces of what the critic Robert Warshow described as “The Gangster as Tragic Hero. The 1970s saw a powerful revival of the genre in the two Godfather films (1972. but the film itself was noticeably less successful).ååå g å gangster film A type of FILM that traces the career of a gangster. the gangster assumed the status of a celebrity. Goodfellas (1991). the executive of a large and complex financial organization.

Forster’s Maurice. particularly in the “Calamus” section of Leaves of Grass (1855–92). in which the poems addressed to a young nobleman together with those relating to the “dark lady” suggest the possibility of bisexuality on the part of the speaker. a rendering of Hitler’s rise to power as a gangster story. and its tragic consequence. Among these were Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II (1592–93). if not the author. With the notable exception of classical Greek culture. The real breakthrough came after World War II with the publication of Jean Genet’s Querelle de Brest (1947). Gore Vidal’s The City and 177 . The history of gay literature is for the most part shrouded in coded language.” As a consequence. a novel written in 1914 but. resulting from the social and legal suppression of homosexuality in Western society. some exceptions. an eloquent plea for the defense of homosexuality. Somewhat less clearly homoerotic are the sonnets that Michelangelo addressed to a number of young men in praise of male beauty. however. M. The rule was reflected in E. which may come to be seen as the last of the great gangster films. A new era has been ushered in with the Sopranos series. homosexual literature remained largely either an underground or disguised expression until well into the 20th century. where it was accepted as a natural phase in a young man’s development. not published until 1971. There were. in the RENAISSANCE. homosexuality has been denounced in the Western tradition as an “abomination. but Gide was the exception. Openly gay literature begins in the 20th century with André Gide’s Corydon (1911). disguised communication among gays. Similar controversies have been generated by the assertion that writers such as Walt Whitman. Robert Warshow’s essay appears in his The Immediate Experience (1962). because of its explicit homosexuality. are portraying homosexual relations. The debate calls attention to the increasing awareness of the shifting historical denotations and connotations of homosexuality. fell within the definition of acceptable nonsexual discourse. Piers Gaveston. years after the author’s death. “The Gangster as Tragicomic Hero. and Herman Melville. These two examples have generated a debate over whether these poems represent specifically homosexual feelings or manifestations of male friendship that.GAY LITERATURE tation of the gangster film to another medium is Bertolt Brecht’s satiric drama The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (1941).” John Baxter’s The Gangster Film (1970) is a reliable reference work. More complicated still are the SONNETS of Shakespeare. of the poems. gay literature Literature that focuses on sexual or romantic relationships between men. in Typee (1846) and other novels. a play depicting the monarch’s love for a courtier.

Feminists argue that patriarchal society (see PATRIARCHY). sexual difference is biological. edited by Micheline Wandor. It represents not the author’s biographical. 1960). The authorial consciousness operates at a deeper level than conscious intention. of nouns and pronouns into masculine. 1951) of the poems of the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy. and James Purdy (The Nephew. 1947. self. but instead his imaginative.” a process by which social and cultural norms are depicted as natural. gender The classification. which has tended to assume that conventional (gender) differences arise from natural (sex) differences.” For these “critics of consciousness. In a more general sense the term has been used as a synonym for a person’s sex. With the advent of AIDS. while differences of gender are products of culture and society. particularly Frank O’Hara and Allen Ginsberg. For feminists and others. David Leavitt’s Equal Affections (1988) is a poignant account of a young gay man’s coming to grips with his mother’s death. gay literature has encountered a subject as powerful and profound as the reality it represents. Other writers to deal openly with homosexual themes included James Baldwin (Giovanni’s Room. David Berman’s Gaiety Transfigured (1991) is a thoughtful examination of the major themes of gay literature. 1956). On Gender and Writing (1983). as for example in Latin grammar. or neuter. Feminist critics often focus on the ways in which literature has contributed to “gendering. English. who employed the methods of PHENOMENOLOGY to examine a particular author’s body of work in order to apprehend its distinctive “consciousness.GENDER the Pillar (1949). is a collection of essays on the subject. the posthumous translations (French. 1964). Geneva school A group of critics associated with the University of Geneva in the 1940s and ’50s. For a discussion of this theme. see AIDS. which is not the same as the author’s intention. but FEMINIST CRITICISM and contemporary THEORY have stressed the importance of distinguishing gender from sex. It is precisely this oversight that feminist criticism seeks to expose as the source of the oppression of women. 178 .” the task of the reader is to open him/herself to the author’s consciousness. has traditionally disregarded this distinction. Christopher Isherwood (A Single Man. Distinguished gay novels of the ’70s include Andrew Holleran’s The Dancer from the Dance (1979) and Edmund White’s Nocturnes for the King of Naples (1978). feminine. and the poetry of the NEW YORK SCHOOL and the BEATS.

Since classical times. tragicalcomical-historical-pastoral. interactive acts of consciousness. Hillis Miller. In either case. .GENRE The leading figure of the Geneva School was Georges Poulet. in film. James Joyce. for example. pastoral. or. The remarkable feature of Joyce’s analysis is the extent to which it foreshadowed his own progress from the autobiographical Portrait to his narrative “epic” Ulysses (1922) to his invisible presence in Finnegans Wake (1939). genre A type of literature or FILM. as a dramatist is in his play and as God is in creation). for whom the writing and reading of literature were continuing. was at one time a practitioner of the Geneva School. . In Hamlet. history. either for tragedy. 179 . or redefine it altogether. Polonius’s effort reminds us that the lines between genres are often blurred and the effort to be too precise can lead only to confusion. generic distinctions are often useful as a set of understandings that guide our responses to a work. His Charles Dickens:The World of His Novels (1959) represents another notable application of consciousness criticism. historical-pastoral. tragical-historical. a “comedy” ends unhappily—we may experience the result either as a failure or as an interesting departure from the tradition. Nevertheless. the comedy of his PROBLEM PLAYS. great writers tend to extend the definition of genre. and FICTION. the generic norm remains the basis of our judgment. See CONSCIOUSNESS. Sarah Lawall’s Critics of Consciousness (1968) provides an intelligent account of the Geneva School. EPIC. . comedy. Even when our expectations are not realized—when. the WESTERN and DETECTIVE STORY.” or made more somber or serious. Shakespeare regularly incorporated comedy into his tragedies and “darkened. Others include Jean Starobinski. COMEDY. characterizes the development of the writer as a progression from the LYRIC (self-expression) to the NARRATIVE (the artist acting as mediator for the audience) to the dramatic (invisible in his work. ROMANCE. in A Portrait of the Artist as aYoung Man (1916). Nevertheless. J. genre has been a way of not only classifying but also analyzing literature. Shakespeare satirizes the approach in Polonius’s catalogue of the types of drama: The best actors in the world. the term also denotes subdivisions such as TRAGEDY. DRAMA. an American critic later associated with DECONSTRUCTION. whose Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Transparency and Obstruction (1957) is an impressive analysis of Rousseau’s imagination. pastoral-comical. In addition to referring to the basic generic types of POETRY.

In the 20th century. developed in the wake of Darwin’s discoveries. The best known example is Virgil’s Georgics (37–30 B. truth is what emerges in the interaction between the individual and society. Henry James’s The 180 . that what is on TV is not as important as the fact that the TV is on. Thus. news and entertainment.C. Although much of his criticism is rooted in MYTH CRITICISM. from Bakhtin’s perspective. Frye’s work is profoundly generic as well. argued that genres arose and declined according to a principle roughly analogous to Darwin’s principle of natural selection.). for different reasons. genres were thought to be fixed and governed by rules. Frye sees literary history as a movement from myth to modern literature based upon a development in which generic categories—tragic. and ironic. and epic—pass through five stages: mythic. Alastair Fowler’s Kinds of Literature (1982) is a theoretical treatment. The most notable contribution in recent genre criticism is Northrop Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism (1957). Paul Hernadi’s Beyond Genre (1972) explores the future directions of genre criticism. epic.GEORGIC Genre criticism begins with Aristotle. such as the nonfiction novel or the “docudrama. Some critics see this development as a reflection of the influence of television.” suggest a blurring of genres. in the novel. and dramatic. Others see it as confirmation of the view that the content is subordinate to the medium—in other words. Ghost stories are a popular feature of folk literature in virtually all cultures. Recent developments in literature and film. One theory by the French critic Ferdinand Brunietière. romantic. genre criticism was revived by the neo-Aristotelian CHICAGO SCHOOL of criticism. Among literary theorists who have considered genre important. in which fact and fiction. ghost story A story in which a ghost plays a prominent role. comic. with the development of REALISM. high mimetic. commercials and story blend into a homogenized mass. With the advent of ROMANTICISM and its emphasis on individual creativity. Viewing genre from a historical perspective. which includes advice on topics such as animal husbandry and beekeeping. In the RENAISSANCE and the age of NEOCLASSICISM. such as those relating to tragedy. low mimetic. lyric. who divided literature into the basic categories of lyric. the approach to genres became considerably more flexible— as it did. the most interesting perhaps is Mikhail Bakhtin. who views genre as a way of understanding the world. georgic A poem with a rural or agricultural theme. which argued that genre was the determining principle in arriving at the literary meaning of a text.

These were years of great changes in American society: technological advances such as the inventions of the telegraph and the telephone.GLOBAL VILLAGE Turn of the Screw (1899) is a classic of the genre. a “ghost writer”) as an embittered survivor of a concentration camp. contains selected readings from the period. the rapid development of new urban centers like Chicago and San Francisco. Gilded Age A term for the post–Civil War era when rampant acquisitiveness became a prominent feature of American society. now living in America. According to McLuhan. and literate modes of thought. along with other electronic modes of communication. Philip Roth’s novel The Ghost Writer (1979) uses the term to reflect on the HOLOCAUST in depicting Anne Frank (literally. Muir (1947). in which the individual and isolated experience (such as reading) was given priority. ghostwriter A person employed to write an article or book in the name of some other. Richard Ruland and Malcolm Bradbury’s From Puritanism to Postmodernism (1991) contains a concise account of the age. including René Clair’s The Ghost Goes West (1935). The Gilded Age and After (1972). the reader never learns whether the “ghosts” in the story are real or the product of the NARRATOR’s imagination. The name derives from The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today (1873). without realizing that it still harbors its resident ghost. Comic versions have resulted in a number of notable films. The invention of the printing press in 1455 ushered in 500 years of the dominance of visual. Autobiographies of celebrities and politicians are commonly ghostwritten. global village A term used by Marshall McLuhan to describe the results of the triumph of electronic culture over traditional print culture. Television returns us to an aural-tactile world of 181 . a novel written by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner. and the feverish spread of speculation in land and on the stock market. in which a young widow falls in love with the ghost of a salty sea captain. The novel satirizes unscrupulous land speculation and its connections with corrupt politicians. edited by John De Nono. the growth of industry. in which a rich American buys an ancient Scottish castle and has it transported stone by stone to America. usually well-known person. The social criticism built into this novel reflected the spirit of REALISM/NATURALISM that defined the literature of the age. and Joseph Mankiewicz’s The Ghost and Mrs. linear. In this highly ambiguous tale. will ultimately produce a “retribalization” of human society. massive increases in immigrant populations. television.

As depicted in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and charted in Hesiod’s Theogyny (700 b. a replica of the Globe was constructed on the London bankside. Many of these observations have been discredited as sweeping generalities. When millions of people all over the globe are watching television (the differences in content are insignificant). the home of Shakespeare’s company. gods. who spent most of his career as a literary scholar. The novel is narrated in an imagined teenage dialect called nasdat.c. the Lord Chamberlain’s Men (later The King’s Men). The result was a complex but ordered world in which the great 182 . close to the original site. but not exclusively Greek and Roman—who have played a dominant role in Western literature since its inception. often capriciously. a resident company has been staging original and entertaining Shakespearean productions with great success. just outside the London city limits. The gloss may appear as a footnote or in a margin. Sometimes glosses are collected in an appendix known as a glossary. Nevertheless. An interesting example in fiction is Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange (1962). Marshall McLuhan’s War and Peace in the GlobalVillage (1968) explores the subject at length. an event that Shakespeare might have prophesied when in The Tempest (1612) Prospero spoke of the disappearance of “the great globe itself.” Rebuilt the following year.GLOBE THEATRE preliterate society in which the collective experience of the tribe supersedes that of the individual. gloss An explanation or definition of a word or phrase. but even he was subject to Moira (fate). the A general term in literature for the pagan gods—primarily. the Globe was torn down in 1644. Globe Theatre An ELIZABETHAN playhouse. interfered. It burned down in 1614 during a production of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII. helped call attention to the impact of technology on human thought and to highlight important distinctions between literate and oral thinking (see ORALITY/LITERACY). for which Burgess supplies a glossary at the end of the novel. McLuhan. initially under the direction of Mark Rylance. they may be said to be inhabiting the same tribal village.) human history unfolded before the watchful eye of gods and goddesses who sporadically. after years of a painstaking campaign by the American actor Sam Wanamaker. The playhouse was constructed in 1599 on the Bankside of the Thames River. two years after the Puritan-dominated Parliament had ordered the closing of the theaters (see COMMONWEALTH PERIOD). The gods themselves were subject to the all-powerful Zeus. In 1995. Since that time.

“New gods stand up for bastards. to an extent. /They kill us for their sport. and recognition of man’s tragic burden (“Upon such sacrifices. the Italian critic Roberto Calasso celebrates “the return of the gods” to the Western literary imagination.”). The exemplary figure here is Friedrich Holderlin. In Lear.” the source of which is grounded in the idea of the gods. and Euripides wrestled with fundamental questions of human existence.” As a result. where Apollo represents reason. Among those was the greatest play of the English Renaissance. Shakespeare’s King Lear. William Elton’s King Lear and the Gods (1966) considers the role of the absent gods in the play. and amorality. the term the gods is used 26 times. restraint. back onto the stage of Western consciousness. . represents passion. Edmund. Following Holderlin later in the century. Friedrich Nietzsche’s Birth of Tragedy (1871) argued that tragedy arose out of the conflicting positions symbolized by the gods Apollo and Dionysus. particularly Dionysus. the Virgin Mary. there were notable exceptions. Jupiter. after declaring “nature” his “goddess” pleads. Calasso locates the initial reappearance in late 18th century German Romanticism. desperate hope (“The clearest gods who make them honors of men’s impossibilities”).GOLDEN AGE Greek tragedians. my Cordelia.” See also MEDIOLOGY. Aeschylus. In the ominous first act. . Sophocles. Although these gods are not represented in the play. “Zeus is the algorithm. golden age A mythical era celebrated in classical and Renaissance literature. Nietzsche’s APOLLONIAN/DIONYSIAN summoned the gods.” Later in the play—specifically in the storm scenes—the gods are invoked on behalf of the good characters. Although in much of Western literature in succeeding centuries the gods played more of a decorative and rhetorical role. The myth of the golden age recounts a happy primitive state in man’s prehistory. the human characters interpret their response from contrasting positions—profound pessimism (“As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods./The gods themselves throw incense”). and morality. while the bastard son. and Hecate against Cordelia. Calasso argues that their presence continues to be felt wherever an artist in search of the ABSOLUTE appears. But even he acknowledges that in the contemporary world a profound revolution has occurred in which “the brain’s analogical pole was gradually supplanted by the digital pole . of being “in the moment. In Literature and the Gods (2001). . frenzy. 183 . the 19th century German poet who tried to capture the sensation of being alive. Historically the ancient gods were assimilated into the monotheistic JudeoChristian culture. Lear invokes the gods Apollo. and Dionysus. their various powers redistributed to the three-person God and. But in literature the mythic appeal of the denizens of Mount Olympus proved to be irresistible.

C. The first of these was the golden era. The earliest reference appears in Hesiod’s Works and Days (eighth century B. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818). beginning with Hugh Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764). One particularly memorable example of the form. invoking demons. These early gothic novels aimed at instilling terror. The form maintained its popularity from the 1760s to the 1830s. torchlit dungeons. and an occasional bat. The traditional setting. peace and love prevailed. and other supernatural paraphernalia in gory and subliminally erotic detail. moved beyond terror to horror. The myth was transmitted from Greece to Rome. “Gothic”) castle. including Edmund Spenser and Shakespeare. In the transmission of the myth one of the ages (the “heroic”) was dropped. involves a beautiful heroine beset by dark shadows. An extreme example of BAROQUE poetry. Satirized by Jane Austen in Northanger Abbey (1818). is also regarded as an early progenitor of SCIENCE FICTION. 184 . only to resurface in the 20th century as the HORROR FICTION and HORROR FILM. strange noises. With the humanist revival in the Renaissance. when men lived in harmony with nature and the gods and died painless deaths. Harry Levin’s The Myth of the Golden Age in the Renaissance (1969) is a learned and thoughtful study. which speaks of five prehistorical ages. Gongorism is filled with puns. where it was given prominence by Virgil in his Eclogues. The traditional plot. paradoxes. sus- pense. gongorism An ornate. the form eventually fell out of favor. terror or horror.GONGORISM when justice. and a candle that keeps blowing out. Later examples of the form. and elaborate conceits. Harry Levin has argued that the myth represents the human impulse to transcend the limits of history and time. influencing and being influenced by the age of ROMANTICISM. highly mannered poetic style associated with the Spanish poet Luis de Góngora y Argote (1561–1626). ghosts. See MARINISM. The end of the golden age was followed by a series of progressively deteriorating eras: the silver. as in Anne Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794). gothic novel A type of FICTION that employs mystery. and iron ages. replete with secret passages. is a medieval (hence. reducing the number of ages to four. During that time it was imitated throughout Europe.). bronze. such as Matthew Lewis’s The Monk (1796). and the supernatural for the simple purpose of scaring the wits out of its readers. the golden age motif was incorporated in the work of most of the major Renaissance writers.

) graphic novel Term for a full-length novel of serious intent presented in the form of a comic book. They frequently focus on the main character’s unhappy childhood. and Spiegelman’s In the Shadow of No Towers (2004).GRAPHIC NOVEL Brendan Hennessy’s The Gothic Novel (1978) offers a useful survey of the genre. regarded as the forerunner of the new form. thus casting the brutal story in an allegorical mode. Safe Area Gorazde (2000). Paradoxically. many of these novels offer autobiographical. The latter is known as “prescriptive grammar. an area in the Bosnian War where Serbs besieged Muslims over a three-year period. Charles McGrath’s amply illustrated article “Not Funnies” in The New York Times Magazine (July 11.” “Transformational grammar” is a method of analysis developed by the linguist Noam Chomsky that explains how a limited number of grammatical rules can be transformed into a limitless number of sentences. an experimental text even by graphic novel standards. the study of the structural relationship of words in a sentence. (See also DRAMATISM. grammar In LINGUISTICS. Other successful graphic novels are Daniel Clowes’s Ghost World (1998). It is Art Speigelman’s Maus (1986). dysfunctional family. later transformed into a critically acclaimed film. Still another meaning of grammar refers to the basic principles of a subject. a novel. dealing with two teenage girls coming of age in suburbia. the best-known example of this form is not.” but later at the author’s request under “Nonfiction”) is that the CHARACTERS are represented as cats. the form has expanded to embrace documentary work such as Joe Palestine (1995). retreat from reality. Graphic novels evolved from the underground comics of the 1960s and ’70s. an analysis of the nature of religious belief. 185 . More recently. an analysis of human motivation. more popularly. and ultimate despair. ironic portraits of the artist-as-loser. Manuel Aguirre’s The Enclosed Space (1990) places it in the context of all horror literature. and Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan (2000). Like Crumb’s work. and frogs. a feverish and intense rendering of the experience in downtown Manhattan in the wake of 9/11. 2004) offers an insightful introduction to the new genre. Crumb. in fact. mice. a harrowing memoir of his father’s experience in Auschwitz. a description of Palestinian refugee camps. dogs. notably the work of R. the system of rules that govern accepted standards of usage. This is the sense in which it was used in the 19th century by Cardinal Newman in his A Grammar of Assent (1870). What contributes to the confusion about the genre of this work (it was originally listed in The NewYork Times best-seller list under “Fiction. and in the 20th century by Kenneth Burke in A Grammar of Motives (1945). A representative sample is Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor (1976).

in a section of modern Turkey that at the time contained a large Greek population. whose “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” (1751) is an acknowledged masterpiece of the form. the best-known Greek-American figure dealing with the immigrant experience is Elia Kazan. Stavros is back in Anatolia. 1742–45). the last volume of the trilogy. none could look back upon their cultural heritage with greater pride than the Greeks. and Immortality. and Thomas Gray. Kazan was born in 1909 in Anatolia. whose many books include her translation of The Complete Poems Of Cavafy (1961). His first novel. in which Stavros is depicted somewhat severely as a social climber trying to charm his way to the top. the son of an Eastern Orthodox 186 . recounts the story of Stavros. Two poets who have also make major contributions to Greek literature as translators are Kimon Frair. an Anatolian adolescent whose odyssey is completed when he arrives at Ellis Island. the pain of bereavement. these poets were united by their common themes. America (1962). In Beyond the Aegean (1994). and Rae Dalven. both of whom wrote prolifically in English and Greek. The catastrophic outcome of the war for the Greeks finds a chastened Stavros happy to be back in his adopted country. frustrated with his career in Hollywood. he turned to fiction writing. Unfortunately. In fiction. Death. His poems served as a model for the next generation of poets. Born in the Midwest. The best known of the group were Robert Blair (“The Grave. hoping to cash in on the expected victory of the Greeks in the GrecoTurkish War (1921–22). In the 1960s. the original director of such celebrated plays as A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) and Death of a Salesman (1949) and films as On the Waterfront (1954) and East of Eden (1955). Their struggle to articulate their experience was first achieved by Demetrios Michalaros in his collection of poems Sonnet of an Immigrant (1930). Another well-known chronicler in fiction of the Greek immigrant experience is Harry Mark Petrakis. Greek-American literature Of all the immigrant groups that have come to America. Greece began the long process of renationalization. The first significant wave of immigrants to the United States consisted mainly of rural peasants intent on achieving economic and social gains in a strange land. best known for his impressive translation of Nikos Kazantzakis’s The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel (1958) and for his anthology Modern Greek Poetry (1978).GRAVEYARD SCHOOL graveyard school A term for a group of 18th-century poets who focused on the theme of DEATH. including Paul Nord (Nikos Laides) and Andonis Descavalles. Edward Young (Night Thoughts on Life. Gaining independence in 1829. Not a true school in the sense of an organized literary movement. the glorious era of classical Greece had been followed by centuries of tragic repression by and subjection to foreign rule. America. and the longing for immortality.” 1743). Kazan later picks up his story in The Anatolian (1962).

Meanwhile the two have become lovers.GROTESQUE. Petrakis developed as an important theme in his work the conflict. on the other. 187 . In The Odyssey of Kostas Volakis (1963). a union that results in the birth of a hermaphroditic grandchild. The incompatibility of this mix creates in the reader the kind of conflicted response that one makes to a “sick joke”: on the one hand. between first. Ohio (1919). as grotesque are Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel. nauseating or horrifying. Among examples of the form are Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis. and “The Book of the Grotesque.” whose hero finds himself transformed into a giant insect. moving tribute to his immigrant grandfather. Wilson Knight argues that the play’s comic elements produce a “sublime incongruity”). Konstantinos Lardas (A Tree of Man [1968]) offers an evocative. deals with the theme of intermarriage: a son’s desire to marry a non-Greek woman triggers an unreconcilable rupture with his parents. Richard Schickel’s Elia Kazan (2005) is a widely acclaimed biography of the director and author. A highly unusual immigrant novel is Jeffrey Eugenides’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Middlesex (2002). funny.” the critic G. grotesque. and Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal. A brother and sister manage to survive and make their way to America. Shakespeare’s King Lear (in “King Lear and the Comedy of the Grotesque. THE priest.and second-generation family members. who becomes the novel’s protagonist. Lion At My Heart (1959). at least in part. fails to help his invalid son. the Greek immigrant father favors one son over another with tragic results. which records. tr. In contrast to the intergenerational conflict in Petrakis. In his portrayal of Matsoukas. Leonidas Matsoukas. for example. In The Dream of Kings (1966). the As a literary term. grotesque refers to a work in which abnormal or macabre characters or incidents are presented in a mix of comedy and pathos or horror. His first novel. as does Kazan’s Beyond the Aegean. the catastrophic Greco-Turkish War. usually set in the Greek community of Chicago. Alexander Karanikas’s “Greek-American Literature” in Ethnic Perspectives in American Literature (1983) offers an overview of the topic. culminating in the massacre of Greeks in the port of Smyrna in 1922. 1952). an exuberant Greek father. Among famous works that have been characterized. Petrakis appears to be using as his model Zorba in Zorba the Greek (1946. the brothel scene in James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922). filled with good intentions but a rascal at heart. But the grotesque has come into its greatest prominence in the 20th century.” the introductory chapter in Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg.” the brilliant satiric pamphlet advocating that children of the Irish poor be killed and eaten as a way of improving the economy.

Reilly argues. the horror!” Another example is Albert Camus’s The Fall (1954). purgatorial stage that leads to redemption. John the Baptist. in which the detective. guilt The search for the guilty one forms the action of the archetypal DETECTIVE STORY. heavily influenced by psychoanalysis. Still another example is William Golding’s The Lord of the Flies (1954) which inverts the 19th-century Romantic conviction that society corrupts the individual 188 . Evil cannot be redeemed. The group was well known for its productions of plays dealing with socially significant issues such as labor unrest and racism. the troupe developed many of the techniques later associated with the Method (see METHOD ACTING). “Evil is an appearance that knowing its causes does not dispel it . namely Kurtz himself. arguing in the words of Jean Paul Sartre. writers rejected redemption. Guiltless guilt is perhaps best represented in Albert Camus’s The Stranger (1942). Oedipus. writing in the wake of World War II. Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (1843) and A Tale of Two Cities (1859).” Among Reilly’s detailed examples is Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness (1902). In the 19th-century version guilt is the preliminary. experimental theatrical com- pany that flourished in the 1930s. who undergoes a similar voyage to encounter the heart of evil. Basing its acting principles on the model of the MOSCOW ART THEATER. who in discovering his own guilt. in which the protagonist Jean-Baptiste Clamence. guilt itself is the VILLAIN. Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. takes upon himself the role of judge/penitent. discovers that he himself is guilty of the death of his father and of incest with his mother. . In The Literature of Guilt (1988) critic Patrick Reilly argues that the redeemed sinner is a central figure of the 19th-century novel. . Two of the group’s best known productions were Clifford Odets’s Waiting for Lefty and Awake and Sing (both 1935). George Eliot’s Silas Marner (1861) and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment (1866). the story of the idealist Kurtz who plunges into the perilous mystery of human evil and is damned in the process. forcing others to acknowledge their guilt. In the 20th century. seen as repressed residue from childhood that needs to be expressed in order to free the individual. The sinner is rescued after experiencing genuine guilt. Between such polarities range the two dominant forms. Marlow echoes Kurtz’s vision of what he encounters: “The horror. In the end. evident in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables (1862).GROUP THEATRE Group Theatre The name of a New York–based. In the 20th-century psychological novel. The same is true of the story’s narrator Marlow. in which the protagonist Meursault kills a man but is executed not for the killing but for his indifference to society’s apparent values.

” in Women Writing and Writing about Women (1979). However. for Kafka. as opposed to an earlier phase of feminist criticism that concentrated on the representation of women in literature written by men. 189 . gynocriticism is designed. Elaine Showalter’s “Toward a Feminist Poetics. whose protagonist Joseph K. in her words. leaving the impression that. the emphasis on literature written by women.” Examples of formerly neglected novels that gynocritics have helped to publicize include Kate Chopin’s The Awakening (1899) and Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937). The Literature of Guilt overlooks the most important modern writer on the subject of guilt. to “stop trying to fit women between the lines of the male tradition and focus instead on the newly visible world of a female culture. which eventually corrupts society. to be is to be guilty. existence itself is guilt. Kafka’s depiction of guilt in The Trial (1925). contains the essence of her thesis. edited by Mary Jacobus. Franz Kafka.GYNOCRITICISM by suggesting that the individual carries the “beast” within him. gynocriticism In FEMINIST CRITICISM. finds that he has been judged guilty without having done anything wrong. Coined by the feminist scholar Elaine Showalter in 1978.

hamartia In Aristotle’s Poetics.” a book written and published to coincide with a politician’s campaign for a major office.” In some English translations of the Poetics. For an incisive treatment of the term. The traditional haiku consists of 17 syllables. has been seen as his “tragic flaw. but there are numerous variations. Hamlet’s indecision. The error may be a consequence of some inherent weakness of character or the result of a lack of knowledge (as in the case of Oedipus. especially in modern poems. who does not know that he has killed his father and married his mother). particularly those associated with IMAGISM. and five syllables. haiku A type of Japanese poetry that captures the impression of a single object or aspect of nature. seven. hamartia has been defined as “tragic flaw. The Golden Legend is a 13th-century collection of popular tales concerning saints which became an important form of CHILDREN’S LITERATURE in the Middle Ages.” a phrase that has led to the misinterpretation that sees the “flaw” as the “cause” of the hero’s downfall.ååå h å hagiography Writing of the lives of saints. an error committed by a tragic hero that leads to his downfall. Haiku has influenced a number of Western poets. an attitude that reduces the tragic mystery to a simple equation.” The notion of the tragic flaw suggests that the hero’s deeds and his fate are always commensurate. idealizing view of their subjects. for example. arranged in three lines of five. One such example is the “campaign biography. the term now describes biographies that exhibit an uncritical. The term itself is a metaphor from archery that means “not hitting the bull’s-eye. see Peter Alexander’s Hamlet: Father and Son (1955). By extension. 190 .” a view given wide circulation in Laurence Olivier’s 1948 film version of the play. “This is the tragedy of a man who could not make up his mind. which opens with a voiceover comment.

characterizing the Prince as a “delicate vase. younger German writers proclaimed an intense identification with the brooding. “We are Hamlet. hovers ghostlike over the scene. alienated. S. 191 . Joyce stakes his claim to stand aside Homer and Shakespeare. that is to say. Eliot’s epithet for Hamlet. Goethe’s Hamlet-identification was carried to England by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. sweeping through Europe in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In the novel’s celebrated “library scene. the story is much older than that. to see him through the mirror of 19th century Romanticism. Hamletism was triggered by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s comments in his BILDUNGSROMAN Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship (1795-96).HAMLET THEME Hamlet theme “The Mona Lisa of literature.” Even in France. not as problems to be solved but as experiences to absorb. Thus. the Ghost of King Hamlet/Hamlet and Ulysses/Telemachus. for indecisiveness and excessive introspection.” young Stephen Dedalus discourses at length on the father/son relationship in the play. culminating in Ferdinand Freiligrath’s 1844 poem “Deutschland Ist Hamlet. himself included. Another Romantic. almost every major Western audience has acknowledged the centrality of the play and its impact on them. psychological man. James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922). since it fits the archetypal pattern of the sacrificial dying god whose purpose is “to set right” a time that is “out of joint”). taking the form of an obsession in the poetry and prose of Jules Laforgue.” in which he attacks young Germans. the first work to explore the interior reality of a self-conscious mind. Laced with puns from Hamlet. Triggered by Goethe’s enthusiasm. which first recognized itself in the play. Hamlet sits at the heart of one of the great novels of the 20th century. William Hazlitt. Hamletism (the term itself originates there) dominates the literature of the 19th century. a cuckolded husband. That Romantic identification begot a phenomenon known as Hamletism.” In the process there developed a tendency to remove the character from the play. Despite the efforts of countless interpreters. The story itself is based on a 12th century legend (from the perspective of MYTH CRITICISM. He identifies Shakespeare with the Ghost in the play. introspective prince. It was the Romantic movement. Stephen’s commentary establishes correspondences between Bloom/Stephen.” T. In the case of Hamlet. The play and its protagonist have created a modern archetype. the mysteries remain.” Hamlet’s tendency to intellectualize paralyzes him. the first modern man. while Leopold Bloom. acutely points to the mystery lying at the heart of each work. who saw the prince’s tragedy as a case of action hindered by thought: “The native hue of resolution is sicklied o’er by the pale case of thought. comes closer to the heart of the matter. in which Hamlet is described as one who has had an impossible burden imposed upon him.

a diplomat.” happening In DRAMA. its self-centered egoism. The shift in identification from Hamlet to an “attendant lord” signaled a rejection of ROMANTICISM and. the leading tragic actor in Shakespeare’s company. the role of the prince has been the ultimate challenge for great actors from David Garrick to Sara Bernhardt to John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier. music. The movement’s manifesto appeared in Alain Locke’s anthology The New Negro (1925). many black intellectuals and artists perceived that the time had come for the final emancipation of African Americans. “Hamletism died in the First World War. William Kerrigan’s Hamlet’s Perfection (1994) devotes a “polemical” chapter to “Hamlet in History. In the wake of World War I. the recognition of their right to equal status in America’s social and cultural life. nor was meant to be I’m an attendant lord. Du Bois. Beginning with Richard Burbage. Alfred Prufrock: I am not the prince. E. The progenitors of the movement were James Weldon Johnson. whose The Souls of Black Folk (1903) powerfully argued the case for social justice. poet. which called for 192 . an extemporaneous performance generated and devel- oped by the interactions of players and audiences. bearing more than a slight resemblance to the two tramps in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (1953). These modern antiheroes.HAPPENING In the words of the French poet Max Jacob. the CHAMBERLAIN’S/KING’S MEN. Adding to its stature as a literary achievement is the play’s preeminient place in the history of the theater. Ruby Cohn’s Modern Shakespeare Offshoots (1976) contains an extensive chapter on Hamlet’s presence in modern literature. and author of The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912). Eliot’s J. The writer Allan Kaprow coined the term in 1958. B. and W. In its ideal conception. .” signaled by T. The demotion from identification with Hamlet to “attendant Lord” takes a further downward step in Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1969). in which the prince’s hapless schoolfellows assume the center stage. S. These two figures constituted both the older generation and the lure that brought black artists to Harlem in the 1920s. and dance that took place in the 1920s in New York’s Harlem district. to Eliot and others. . it can never be repeated. a half century after the abolition of slavery. a particular happening occurs only once. ask questions about their existence but go to their deaths without a clue. Harlem Renaissance Term for the flowering of African-American literature.

and Wallace Thurman (Infants of the Spring. In Gramsci’s analysis the ascendant class controls not only the economy but also the cultural and ideological spheres of its society. Nathan Huggins’s Harlem Renaissance (1971) offers a judicious history of the era. performers. Thus the hegemonic class maintains its leadership by embracing spheres more comprehensive than its own 193 . The consent of the subordinate class is won by a process of “incorporation. or negotiated settlements. and a host of artists. Among those associated with the Renaissance were the novelists Jean Toomer (Cane. The two outstanding writers of the movement were Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. was the most multitalented. but not the process it began. Ann Douglas’s Terrible Honesty: Mongrel Manhattan in the 1920s (1995) is a brilliant. literature offered an enlarged view of the idea of religion. Arnold’s thesis called for a new synthesis of these two traditions in which literature would occupy the void created by the decline of religious faith in the modern world. Claude McKay (Home to Harlem. Thus it is able to persuade the lower classes to willingly support its agenda. 1928).” Incorporation involves concessions. and black intellectuals. the poet Countee Cullen. provocative reading that explores the interaction of the black and white cultures of the time.HEGEMONY the incorporation of the African artistic heritage as an enrichment of American culture. as the critic Ann Douglas has argued. From Arnold’s perspective. Hughes. Hebraism/Hellenism Matthew Arnold’s characterization of the two major for- mative influences in Western culture. The Great Depression signaled the end of the Harlem Renaissance. fiction. musicians. 1928). “Hellenism” for the intellectual and aesthetic inheritance of Greek civilization. while Hurston’s Their EyesWereWatching God (1937) is generally regarded as the greatest single product of the Renaissance. subsequently. 1923). who was primarily a poet but eventually branched out into drama. the results of which are always designed to reinforce the interests and security of the dominant class while meeting some of the demands of the others. Douglas maintains that the movement began the interaction of black and white cultural forms that continues today to permeate all aspects of the arts. which. irrevocably changed American and. hegemony A word meaning predominance. and personal memoirs. Nella Larsen (Quicksand. all of Western culture. “Hebraism” stands for the moral tradition of Judeo-Christianity. 1932). used by the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci to explain how a dominant CLASS gains and maintains its power. As elaborated in his Culture and Anarchy (1869).

this textual concern resulted in the formulation of the so-called hermeneutic circle. Gramsci is issuing a warning to fellow Marxists that any exclusively economic reading of a society usually will be inadequate. hendiadys In RHETORIC. One consequence of this transformation is to see understanding as necessarily rooted in prejudice (preconceptions) and in time (history). it also defined the human way of being in the world. heptameter A seven-FOOT metrical line. will represent a fusion of modern and medieval minds. Antonio Gramsci’s Selections from the Prison Notebooks (1971) develops his conception of the term. The interpretation that grows out of this understanding is never the kind of objective “truth” that is the hallmark of science. In the 20th century. the German philosopher Martin Heidegger and his disciple Hans-Georg Gadamer transformed hermeneutics from a problem of knowledge (epistemology) into a problem of “being” (ontology). When we encounter a text from the past we unite our historically shaped preconceptions with the historically shaped preconception of the text. In his analysis. the use of a compound noun where an adjective and noun would be more usual. rarely used in English since the 16th century. hermeneutics eventually moved into a consideration of secular texts as well.HENDIADYS short-term economic gains. Shakespeare uses it often. Some theorists of POPULAR CULTURE argue that the concept of hegemony explains the process by which radical styles (such as the music or dress codes of young people) are quickly incorporated into the mainstream culture. Raymond Williams explores the idea in Marxism in Literature (1977). at which time it was superseded by iambic pentameter (see IAMB). Originally used to refer to the interpretation of the BIBLE. as in “the dead waste and middle of the night” from Hamlet. which Heidegger calls DASEIN. for example. A classic text has no final mean- 194 . In the 19th century. understanding became not simply a question of knowing something. The heptameter is also known as a “FOURTEENER” for its 14 syllables. Out of this “fusion of horizons” emerges understanding. A 20th-century reader’s interpretation of Dante’s Divine Comedy (1310–14). In other words. hermeneutics The theoretical examination of the understanding and inter- pretation of TEXTS. the apparent PARADOX in which we cannot understand the whole of a work without understanding its parts but that the understanding of the parts presupposes some knowledge of the whole.

Thus in 20th-century literature. and Jacques Derrida. In this sense the meaning of a text is the history of its criticism. although apparently “outdated. RECEPTION THEORY. In his Anatomy of Criticism (1957). while the significance represents the meanings acquired in the course of its history. who sees it as an example of historical relativism.” it presents the hero as progressively weaker. the term is now used to describe poetry in which the sound qualities. hermetic poetry A term for the kind of obscure and difficult poetry that employs private allusions and symbols. not suspicion. particularly scientific “prejudices.” For Ricoeur. Ricoeur makes a distinction between what he calls the “hermeneutics of suspicion” and the “hermeneutics of trust. the music. Hirsch argues for a distinction between the meaning of a text and its significance. hermeneutics should operate from a posture of trust.” represents a provocative challenge to the assumptions of modern. and some versions of READER RESPONSE CRITICISM. the meaning resides in the intention of the author. some critics prefer the word PROTAGONIST to describe the main character in a modern novel. In traditional usage the term implies qualities of valor and courage. 195 . Sigmund Freud.” As Frye represents it. a perspective ironically alluded to by Robert Musil in the title of his novel The Man Without Qualities (1930–43). Northrop Frye traces the history of Western literature in terms of the “diminishing power of the hero. The hermeneutics of trust argues that the classic text.This skeptical position is reflected in the thinking of such moderns as Friedrich Nietzsche. In his Validity in Interpretation (1967). In literary criticism hermeneutics underlies the contemporary critical schools associated with PHENOMENOLOGY. Another important figure in hermeneutics is the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur. Hirsch. As a consequence. the hero is likely to be an ANTI-HERO. hero/heroine The major figure in a DRAMA or NARRATIVE. but only a history of its interpretations. of a poem appear to be more important than the sense.” The hermeneutics of suspicion views the “horizon” of a text—the tradition it reflects—as the source of error and mystification. This position has been contested by the American hermeneutic critic E. as literature grows more “realistic. The best introductions to hermeneutics are Richard Palmer’s Hermeneutics (1969) and Timothy Cruise’s A Teacher’s Introduction to Philosophical Hermeneutics (1991). D. For Hirsch. but in modern literature it can as easily apply to characters who lack “heroic” qualities.HERO/HEROINE ing. First associated with the 19th-century French symbolists.

letters. as in the opening lines of his “Essay on Criticism”: ’Tis hard to say.” Operatic and occasionally bombastic. idiolects. David Lodge’s After Bakhtin (1990) provides an insightful account of Bakhtin’s terms. or in judging ill. Based upon the work of “lower criticism. his adaptation of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra. and so on—so that each person may be said to be heteroglot (“many tongued”). who perfected the symmetrically balanced. Among the best known of the heroic plays are Dryden’s The Conquest of Granada (1670–1). In the NOVEL. self-contained unit known as the “closed” (that is. Aureng-Zebe (1675).” each one of which imposes its own perspective on reality. they achieved popularity in the early years of the Restoration. of prayer. Every individual speaks a variety of these “languages”—the language of work. but its most extensive use occurred in the RESTORATION and AUGUSTAN periods. dialects. this form of analysis frequently operated on the assumption that there existed earlier.HEROIC COUPLET heroic couplet In verse. these plays generally focused on the conflict between what John Dryden called “love and valour. but eventually fell into disrepute spurred by the duke of Buckingham’s successful burlesque of the form. a pair of rhyming lines in iambic pentameter. In the contemporary novel. and All for Love (1677). Written either in HEROIC COUPLETS or BLANK VERSE. heteroglossia A term coined by the Russian theorist Mikhail Bakhtin. In English poetry the form was used as early as Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (1387–1400). higher criticism A 19th-century form of biblical scholarship that raised important questions about the origins and authority of the BIBLE. if greater want of skill Appear in writing. The master of the form was Alexander Pope. who saw language as made up of an endless variety of “languages. The Rehearsal (1671). excerpts. PARODIES. lost 196 . heroic drama A type of drama popular in the RESTORATION period featuring heroes of exalted. transcriptions. of song. first-person NARRATORS. Eugene Waith’s Ideas of Greatness: Heroic Drama in England (1971) offers a valuable overview of the form. heteroglossia appears as a complex interweaving of dialogue and description (see DIEGESIS/MIMESIS).” the restoring and editing of biblical texts. containing a complete thought) heroic couplet. epic dimensions. and PASTICHES all exemplify the principle of heteroglossia.

racy depiction of life in El Barrio. the year in which the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ceded the lands of the Southwest to the United States. Hispanic-American literature A term for the literature of Americans with a Spanish speaking heritage. from Latin America or the Caribbean islands. Chicano literature extends back to 1848. As a result. Outstanding examples include Rudolpho Anaya’s Bless Me. and the Latino/ Latina group. a novel about a young Mexican American. an account of life in a Chicago barrio. Miguel Algarín and Miguel Piñero. Since that time. The Latino novel came into prominence in 1990 when the Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Oscar Hijuelos for The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love. Piñero is also the author of an acclaimed play Short Eyes (1975). The Literary Guide to the Bible (1987). Before that there had been two outstanding memoirs of growing up Puerto Rican in New York: Piri Thomas’s Down These Mean Streets (1967) and Edward Rivera’s Family Installments (1980). told in the forceful and direct voice of a Chicana girl. whose novel In the Time of the Butterflies was nominated for the 1995 National Book Critics Circle Award. a vibrant account of the music and lives of Cuban immigrants living in New York in the 1950s. An outstanding novelist and poet from the Dominican Republic is Julia Alvarez. and Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street (1985). edited by Robert Alter and Frank Kermode. or Mexican Americans. Chicano literature written in English first attracted attention with the publication in 1959 of Antonio Villareal’s Pocho. Equally tough-minded is Ernesto Quinonez’ Bodega Dreams (2000) a raw. Many people use the term Latino/Latina to refer to both groups. Ultima (1972) and Tortuga (1979). Gary Soto (The Elements of San Joaquin. The Nuyorican Poetry movement has been an active group since the 1970s.HISPANIC-AMERICAN LITERATURE versions of the texts that have come down to us. The title poem of her collection The Other Side. The newly Americanized Mexican residents continued to conduct their cultural affairs in Spanish for nearly a century. provides a comprehensive survey of the Old and New Testaments. The work of these New York–based Puerto Rican poets has been anthologized by two of the group’s best known poets. El Otro Lado (1995) recounts 197 . it tended to devalue the existing biblical CANON. two novels that combine mythic and folkloric elements with realistic sociopolitical themes. however. The Puerto Rican experience has fueled notable developments in poetry and theater. there has been an outpouring of fiction and poetry from this group. In a general sense. 1977) is an important poet. while Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands (1987) is a collection of essays and reflections on the identity crisis afflicting Mexican Americans. there are two groups within this category: the Chicano/Chicana group.


the conflicted emotions generated by a return visit to her native island. This is the conflict that lies at the heart of Hispanic-American literature, the sense of divided identity.
The Biographical Dictionary of Hispanic Literature in the United States (1990) contains biographical and thematic accounts of the major writers. historical novel A type of FICTION in which a significant historical event or era

serves as a backdrop to a story that may include fictional or historical characters, or a mix of both. Most historical novels conform fairly closely to the conventions of ROMANCE rather than REALISM, although there have been exceptions to this rule, notably in Tolstoy’s War and Peace (1869). The father of the historical novel is Sir Walter Scott, many of whose novels focus on Scottish history. His American counterpart, James Fenimore Cooper, whose Leatherstocking Tales (1823–41) won him worldwide fame, was the progenitor of the WESTERN. Other 19th-century masters of the form were Victor Hugo (Notre Dame de Paris, 1831) and Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers, 1844). In the 20th century, the popularity of historical fiction continues to be strong, as exemplified by Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind (1936), but a number of historical novels have made a larger demand on their reader’s attention. Among these are two novels that penetrate the heart of the institution of slavery, William Styron’s The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967) and Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987).
historical criticism A critical approach that looks at literature from the

perspective of the philosophical, ethical, political, and economic conditions of the time in which it was produced. Historical criticism is closely related to and reliant on scholarly research and for this reason is favored by academic scholars. Although eclipsed during the era of NEW CRITICISM (which maintained that historical criticism subordinated literature to history), the historical approach has experienced a resurgence in the form of MARXIST CRITICISM, NEW HISTORICISM, and other approaches that operate under the general heading of LITERARY HISTORY.
history of ideas An interdisciplinary movement among American scholars

designed to trace the history of specific concepts, as they are reflected in history and literature. The movement began with the publication of A. O. Lovejoy’s The Great Chain of Being (1936), a survey of the belief in a hierarchical order in nature from classical times to the early 19th century. Four years later, Lovejoy founded The Journal of the History of Ideas.


With the publication of the multivolume Dictionary of the History of Ideas (1968), this approach expanded to include “studies of three different sorts: cross-cultural studies limited to a given century or period, studies that trace an idea from antiquity to later periods, and studies that explicate the meaning of a pervasive idea in the minds of its leading proponents.” An example of the history of ideas in practice is Lovejoy’s study of the doctrine of the FORTUNATE FALL. In recent years, this approach has been challenged by contemporary theorists who argue that it is based on a naively referential view of language. Opposed to the History of Ideas is the perspective represented by Michel Foucault’s Archeology of Knowledge (1972) in which analysis is focused not on the subject itself but on the ordering and controlling mechanisms that are built into the language of the subject, its DISCOURSE. Despite this postmodernist critique, the history of ideas remains an important contributor to, and subdivision of, HISTORICAL CRITICISM.
For detailed examples of the theory and practice of the history of ideas, see Arthur O. Lovejoy’s Essays in the History of Ideas (1949). Holocaust Literally a large consuming fire, later adapted as a metaphor for

the systematic Nazi program to exterminate the entire population of European Jews. The literary attempt to represent this event has produced a large body of literature seeking to come to terms with a horror that defies comprehension. The chief challenge faced by writers of Holocaust literature is how to describe the experience without cheapening or exploiting it. A related problem arises from the prospect of converting monstrosity into aesthetic pleasure. Some have argued that Holocaust literature should be limited to diaries, memoirs, and other first-hand accounts, that rendering the experience in fictional and poetic forms amounts to blasphemy. Others maintain that literature deepens, rather than palliates, the significance of the Holocaust. A striking example of the latter are the novels of W. G. Sebald, particularly The Emigrants (1997) and Austerlitz (2001). The latter explores the experience of an emotionally crippled man who sets out to discover the fates of his parents, holocaust victims. Among outstanding examples of Holocaust fiction are André Schwarz-Bart’s The Last of the Just (1961), which places the Nazi effort in the historical context of European ANTI-SEMITISM; Jerzy Kozinski’s The Painted Bird (1965); and Tadeusz Borowski’s collection of short stories This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen (1967). Two important poets whose experiences in the Nazi concentration camps have been transformed into powerful poetry are Paul Celan (Collected Poems, 1988) and Nelly Sacks (O the Chimneys, 1967).


Outstanding personal NARRATIVEs include Anne Frank’s world-famous Diary of aYoung Girl (1952) and Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz (1961). In the field of DOCUMENTARY film, the Holocaust has been the subject of three unforgettable films: Alain Resnais’s Night and Fog (1955), Marcel Ophuls’s The Sorrow and the Pity (1969), and Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah (1985). Memorable fictional films include Jan Kadar and Elmor Klos’s The Shop on Main Street (1965), Vittorio De Sica’s The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970), Lina Wertmuller’s Seven Beauties (1976), and Alan Pakula’s adaptation of William Styron’s novel Sophie’s Choice (1982). Undoubtedly the most successful Holocaust film is Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993), adapted from a book by Thomas Keneally.
Lawrence Langer’s The Holocaust and the Literary Imagination (1975) is a detailed study; Ilan Avisar’s Screening the Holocaust (1988) analyzes the major films. Homeric Referring to the Greek epic poet Homer (fl. 850 B.C.), the author of

the IIiad and the Odyssey. A Homeric epithet is a descriptive phrase that employs a compound adjective with a noun. The best known example from Homer’s Iliad is “wine-dark sea.”
Horatian ode See ODE. horizon of expectations See RECEPTION THEORY. horror fiction Term used to describe literature that extended the tradition of the GOTHIC NOVEL with an emphasis on the macabre and the supernatural. The success of horror fiction lies in the thrill of fear. One of the landmark horror stories is Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1839), but probably the most influential of all horror fictions are Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897), whose famous vampire serves as an archetype of seductive sexual power. Modern practitioners of the genre include Dennis Wheatley (The Devil Rides Out, 1935) and H. P. Lovecraft (At the Mountains of Madness, 1936). Their contemporary successors include the highly successful Stephen King (Carrie, 1974; The Shining, 1972) and Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire, 1976; The Vampire Lestat, 1985). Stephen King’s Danse Macabre (1981) provides an excellent introduction to the modern genre. David Punter’s The Literature of Terror (1980) is a provocative attempt to redefine the genre. Manuel Aguirre’s The Closed Space (1990) explores the relation of horror fiction to the symbol of the world as a “closed space.”


horror film The horror film achieved its earliest, and for many its greatest, realization in two masterpieces of German EXPRESSIONISM, Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) and F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu (1921), the latter the first of the vampire films. Three of the most famous examples of the form followed in the next decade: Todd Browning’s Dracula (1931), with Bela Lugosi as the vampire; James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931), with Boris Karloff as the monster; and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), with Elsa Lanchester as the disappointed intended. The ’30s also saw the birth of the mythic monster King Kong (1933). The 1940s witnessed an outstanding example of the power of suggestion rather than direct representation in Jacques Tourneur’s Cat People (1942). Eclipsed in the early ’50s by the SCIENCE FICTION film, horror made a comeback in Terence Fisher’s The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and his Dracula (1958), two remakes that added sensuality and social comment to the original stories. The ’60s were inaugurated by the film that has created more nightmares than any other, Alfred Hitchcock’s fiendishly compelling Psycho (1960), and by Roger Corman’s adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories, beginning with House of Usher (1960). In 1968 George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead spawned a horde of zombie movies, while Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby introduced the theme of witchcraft. Brian DePalma’s Carrie (1976), Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), and Sean Cunningham’s Friday the 13th (1980) are early examples of the high school horror film that dominated the field in the ’80s and ’90s. In 1991, Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs raised the genre to a new level by including a feminist protagonist holding her own against a patriarchal nightmare figure, Hannibal Lecter. The Encyclopedia of Horror Movies (1985), edited by Phil Hardy, contains descriptions of more than 1,300 films. hubris (hybris) A Greek word for excessive pride, an arrogance that invites the retribution of the gods. The term is frequently employed in reference to Greek tragedies. It is related to, but distinct from another term, HAMARTIA. humanism Originally a term used to describe a set of attitudes and beliefs

triggered by the RENAISSANCE interest in the literature and thought of Greece and Rome. One outgrowth of this interest was a developing commitment to the dignity of the individual, a concept subordinated in the collective-oriented consciousness of the MIDDLE AGES. Concurrently there developed a growing concern with secular life as opposed to the religious focus of medieval culture, although the original humanists, such as Thomas More and Erasmus, were


profoundly religious and experienced no difficulty reconciling these beliefs with their Christian faith. In succeeding centuries, however, humanism (represented by Alexander Pope’s line “The proper study of mankind is man”) exhibited an increasing secularism. Humanism came to be associated with an a-religious, if not antireligious, position. Humanism also set itself up against the DETERMINISM associated with scientific thought. Humanists argued for the fundamental freedom of the individual as a core belief. Even generally pessimistic philosophies endorsed the humanistic ideals, as in Jean-Paul Sartre’s assertion that “EXISTENTIALISM is a humanism.” POSTSTRUCTURALISM argues that the humanist belief in the free individual is an illusion, engendered either by language itself or, in the view of contemporary MARXIST CRITICISM, by bourgeois capitalist IDEOLOGY, which promotes the idea of freedom to further its own interests. Nevertheless the humanist tradition remains dominant in that area of study that bears its name, the humanities. See NEW HUMANISM.
For an excellent overview of early humanism, see C. S. Lewis’s History of English Literature in the Sixteenth Century (1954) and Paul Kristeller’s The Classics and Renaissance Thought (1955). For a Marxist, anti-humanist critique, see Terry Eagleton’s Literary Theory (1983). humors In medieval and RENAISSANCE literature, a notion of character derived

from medical beliefs of the time. The four humors within people were believed to be the subjective equivalents of the four elements in nature. As nature is made up of earth, air, fire, and water, so each individual exhibited a combination of blood, phlegm, choler, and bile. No one, except Jesus Christ, had ever had these humors in perfect balance. One’s imbalance determined the general tendency of one’s character. Thus, an overabundance of blood produced a sanguine personality; of phlegm, a phlegmatic personality; of choler, a hot-tempered person; of bile, a melancholic disposition. Some ELIZABETHAN dramatists, Ben Jonson in particular, employed these categories to develop the comedy of humors, which represented characters dominated by their particular obsession. For Jonson, this focus gave a realistic edge to his comedies, enabling him to draw his characters from recognizable human types. One of the best examples of the comedy of humors is Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair (1614), in which he creates a vivid, dazzling array of characters (the play contains 30 speaking parts), the dramatic equivalent of a Charles Dickens novel.



hyperbole An exaggerated or extravagant expression not meant to be taken

literally. Edmond Rostand’s romantic drama Cyrano de Bergerac (1896) contains an entertaining example, in a scene in which Cyrano instructs someone how he might have commented on Cyrano’s nose if he had wished to insult him: You might have said Oh, a great many things. . .-. Eloquent:When it blows, the typhoon howls, And the clouds darken. Dramatic:When it bleeds— The Red Sea. Enterprising:What a sign for some perfumer. . . . Simple:When do they unveil the monument?
hypertext A series of electronic features built into a computerized text,

enabling the reader to choose alternatives to a straight linear reading of the text. In a hypertext version of a Shakespearean play, for example, the reader might have access to the text of the play and background information in both words and visual images, such as maps, charts and photographs, a glossary, reprints of the play’s sources, visual reproductions of the costumes, and sets of famous theatrical presentations of the play, along with opportunities to “block,” or determine the placement and movements of the actors in certain scenes. The material would be available either for systematic use or for random selection. One of the striking features of hypertext, as this example illustrates, is that it interrupts the traditional reading of the main text. As a result, the reader is in effect creating his or her own text in which the actual words written by Shakespeare may or not play the central role. In effect, the reader “adapts” the play for his or her own purposes (see INTERACTIVE COMPUTER FICTION).
O. B. Hardison’s Disappearing Through the Skylight (1989) discusses the term within a broad speculative framework. hypotaxis In RHETORIC, the process of arranging subordinate clauses in a

complex sentence (as opposed to PARATAXIS, the arrangement of coordinate clauses).





iamb A metrical FOOT consisting of one unstressed syllable followed by a

stressed syllable, as in the word alone. In the words of the critic William Kerrigan, the iamb is “the heartbeat of English poetry.” In English the most important iambic line is iambic pentameter, which consists of five iambic feet. Unrhymed iambic pentameter, also known as BLANK VERSE, is the basic METER of Shakespeare’s plays and John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Iambic pentameter in rhymed pairs of lines, known as HEROIC COUPLETS, is the meter of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and much of the English poetry of the early 18th century, exemplified in Alexander Pope’s famous lines from The Rape of the Lock: The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang that jurymen may dine.
identification The process by which readers or viewers associate themselves with fictional characters, as in “She identified (herself) with Ilse in Casablanca,” or with the performer of the role, “She identified (herself) with Ingrid Bergman.” Identification can be both a positive and negative process: positive, for example, in that it permits us to enter sympathetically into the world of people different from ourselves, thus promoting understanding. It can be negative when it encourages bizarre or self-destructive behavior. A famous literary example of the latter is Don Quixote, whose identification with the heroes of medieval romances causes him to lose touch with reality. In Kenneth Burke’s conception of RHETORIC, the chief rhetorical goal is not persuasion, but identification. Burke’s argument appears in his A Rhetoric of Motives (1950). identity According to the critic Northrop Frye, the fundamental theme in

literature is the quest for one’s identity. One recurrent form is the story of the foundling. From Moses to Superman, the account of the child of unknown par204


ents has held a special fascination for audiences, even when parodied as it is in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). The more common form is the protagonist’s self-recognition and the subsequent reversal of fortune that issues from that recognition. In his Poetics, Aristotle’s term for the recognition is ANAGNORISIS and the reversal, PERIPETEIA. Identity is a consistent theme in ethnic minority literatures and in FEMINIST CRITICISM. In the former case, the issue of identity frequently turns on the conflict within the children of immigrant parents torn between their ethnic origins and their aspirations to succeed in the new world. See, for example, HISPANICAMERICAN LITERATURE.
Northrop Frye’s discussion of the identity theme is in his Anatomy of Criticism (1957). ideology In its most common sense, a system of belief or political creed.

employs the term in a different sense, defining it as “false consciousness,” a pervasive social process that reflects the HEGEMONY of the dominant class. Marxists argue that in capitalist societies ideology is hidden under the rubric of “common sense” or simply “the way things are.” In relation to literature, this hidden ideology is in evidence whenever there is an emphasis on FORMALISM or AESTHETICS as the governing principles of literature and art. Marxists generally regard limiting a text to its formal elements as an attempt to separate a poem or story from its social/historical context. Similarly, they view any reference to a text’s universal or timeless qualities as an attempt to de-politicize or de-historicize literature. The Marxist theorist Louis Althusser introduces a further development of the term, arguing that bourgeois ideology also works to convince the individual that he or she is a unified, autonomous SELF. According to this view, literature and film operating within the bourgeois framework reinforce this ideology by emphasizing personal and psychological themes, even when they are purportedly dealing with social issues.

Louis Althusser’s position is developed in “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses” in Lenin and Philosophy (1971). Terry Eagleton’s Literary Theory (1983) offers a lively defense of the Marxist thesis. idiolect The distinctive feature of a particular person’s language, as distinct

from dialect, or the language of a group. For example, Holden Caulfield, the and main character of J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (1950), speaks in the dialect of an American teenager circa 1950, but his idiolect is reflected in the special significance he gives to terms such as “old” (an epithet for


anyone he has known for a long time) and “phoney” (a general term characterizing any behavior that is meretricious or hypocritical): “Then he and old Sally started talking about a lot of people they knew and it was the phoniest conversation you ever heard in your life.”
idyll Usually a poem depicting a rural scene, suggesting tranquility and peace. Tennyson uses the term in his multivolumed series of poems Idylls of the King (1859–85) based on the ARTHURIAN LEGEND. imagery The patterns of images that are the verbal equivalents of sense expe-

rience in a text or portion of a text. Every METAPHOR or SIMILE constitutes an image. Thus Macbeth’s “ravell’d sleeve of care” visualizes an emotional condition in terms of an article of clothing. Taken together with all other references to clothing in Shakespeare’s play, it constitutes a pattern of clothing imagery. From the perspective of NEW CRITICISM, the patterns of images in a poem, play, or novel offer the key to its TEXTURE. For others, the imagery discloses the moral vision of the author. For still others, it engages readers on the level of sense experience, enabling them to “re-create” the text (see READER RESPONSE CRITICISM).
imagination/fancy From the RENAISSANCE through the 18th century these

two terms were basically synonymous, referring to the faculty of mind that is the source of both creativity and madness. The exchange between Theseus and Hippolyta in Act V of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream reflects both these senses of the words as well as their interchangeability.

The lunatic, the lover and the poet Are of imagination all compact. . . . And as imagination bodies forth The forms of things unknown, the poet’s eye Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name. . . . But all the story of the night told over And all their minds transfigured so together More witnesseth than Fancy’s images. . . .


Theseus’s critique of imagination as illusory and allied to madness is countered by Hippolyta’s reminder that “Fancy’s images,” nevertheless, can reveal a truth beyond reason. The 18th century expressed the Theseus-Hippolyta debate in terms of the opposition of judgment/reason to imagination/fancy. But with the publication

. .” that reconceived the data of the senses in new and unusual arrangements. whether subjective or objective. and Northrop Frye’s ideas are developed in his Anatomy of Criticism (1957). The operation of fancy was. which emphasized abstract ideas and to some degree ornamental language. In the 20th century Coleridge’s conceptions were restated by the critic I. Richards translated Coleridge’s theories into the language of modern psychology. universal character. The Imagist creed enunciated three poetic goals: “1) to treat the ‘thing’ directly. I.” an attitude summed up in the title of one of Samuel Beckett’s “texts for nothing. 2) to use absolutely no word that did not contribute to the presentation. for Coleridge. . This imaginative world is self-perpetuating. Flint that resulted in the formation of principles published in 1913. imagism A school of English and American poetry that flourished in the years prior to and during World War I. .IMAGISM of his Biographia Literaria (1817). the product of mankind’s basic fears and desires. The third principle concerning rhythm constituted an argument for FREE VERSE. 3) as regarding rhythm: to compose in sequence of the musical phrase. R. the imagination is a collective human faculty creating an alternate world.” The imagination is thus a synthesizing force. Pound defined it as “an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time . Fancy was a process of association.” The first two principles represent the Imagists’ reaction against the tradition of ROMANTICISM. in order to recreate. Brett’s Fancy and Imagination (1969) provides a brief history of the terms. E. Hulme. A. As for the term image. In their reduction of the traditional creative self to a decentered “subject. which gives that sense of sudden liberation . the Romantic poet and critic Samuel Taylor Coleridge introduced a crucial distinction between fancy and imagination. dissipates. L. creative and organic. T. 207 .” some postmodernist critics and writers have proclaimed the “death of the imagination.” Beckett’s term for certain short pieces exhibiting his NIHILISM: “Imagination Dead Imagine” (1965). the faculty that transformed rather than rearranged. Richard Kearney’s TheWake of Imagination (1988) looks at the history of the term from classical to postmodern times. He argued that the terms described two separate poetic faculties. “a mode of memory. having begun in myth. A. and evolving from it into literary forms that retain their archetypal. In the MYTH CRITICISM of Northrop Frye. that “dissolves. Richards examines Coleridge’s theories in Coleridge on Imagination (1935). the signature of the “poetry of talent.” But the “poetry of genius” involved the imagination. The school originated at a meeting in a London restaurant of the poets Ezra Pound. not in sequence of a metronome. and F. S. Richards. diffuses.

an American novelist who achieved worldwide fame for living in a style that seemed to exemplify the “code” of the heroes of his novels. J. or as an indifferent God. For example. two terms used to distinguish the author/reader “within” the TEXT from the author/reader “outside” the text. this poem is not meant to be a simple description but to invoke the tension between its two images—the moment when.” Imagist principles were important influences in the development of later poetic movements. “A thing outward and objective transforms itself. the actual author of A Farewell to Arms is Ernest Hemingway. as described by Booth.) In America the poet Amy Lowell promoted the movement. nor Frederick Henry. a development Pound disapprovingly characterized as “Amygism.IMITATION which we experience in the presence of great works of art. editing three anthologies titled Some Imagist Poets (1915–17).” The critic and novelist David Lodge presents the distinction in the form of a question. The implied author of this novel is neither Hemingway the man. implied author/reader In NARRATOLOGY. The implied author. see MIMESIS. Harmer’s Victory in Limbo: Imagism. black bough. “Implied author” was coined by the critic Wayne Booth to describe the “second self” of the author. 1908–1917 (1975) discusses the movement’s transitional role in the development of modern poetry. Influenced by the Japanese HAIKU. Distinct from this internal author is the external or “real” author. For a description of this conception. is a figure who “stands behind the scenes whether as stage manager. the ‘same’ as the actual historical individual who sat at his desk and wrote it and who has his own life before and after that activity. Pound’s purpose is best expressed in his famous two-line poem “In a Station of the Metro”: The apparition of these faces in the crowd Petals on a wet. imitation The principle that literature is fundamentally an imitation of reality. B. . or puppeteer. .” Pound was reacting to what he saw as Lowell’s emphasis on pictorial description rather than on his more rigorous definition of the term. . the one that exists only as the creative presence governing a NARRATIVE. . particularly OBJECTIVISM and PROJECTIVISM. the fi rstperson narrator of the novel. or an identity who exists only at the moment of composition?” 208 . “Is the implied author of a novel . or darts into a thing inward and subjective. in Pound’s words. .” (For a related term see EPIPHANY.

William Blake’s famous comment that in Paradise Lost. to read and understand it. Conversely. Milton was “of the devil’s party” would doubtless be one that the historical John Milton would have vigorously denied. see AUTHOR. rejecting the implied reader role because of what she sees as its sexist. in the other case she may say “I understand all too well. David Lodge’s After Bakhtin (1980) provides 209 . In one sense. to complete an implied interpretation that any text may produce. Wolfgang Iser’s The Implied Reader (1974) provides a detailed description of the reader’s role in fiction. Thus a reader of A Farewell To Arms who knows nothing about World War I may not be able to become an adequate implied reader. the “real” reader of a novel is anyone who reads it at a particular time. DIALOGISM.” In either case a disjunction exists. the task of the real reader is to become the implied reader. the reader may be. For other aspects of the subject. Actual readers fulfill these tasks in limitless numbers of ways. a modern feminist such as Judith Fetterley. but often more confusing. In A Farewell to Arms. who would describe herself as a “resisting reader” of A Farewell to Arms. for example. RHETORIC. Reading forces the reader out of him/herself to assume various points of view. If the real reader rejects this role. RECEPTION THEORY. categories. In the one case the actual reader may assert “I don’t understand”. as well as the original. The reader may also be asked to fill in the blanks. the reader is asked to assume a critical view of abstract nouns like “glory” and “honor” that are used to justify war. a term first used by Wolfgang Iser. for example. a critic whose work is rooted in PHENOMENOLOGY.” The second edition of this work (1983) includes an important postscript and a valuable bibliography.IMPLIED AUTHOR/READER Similarly. a “real” author may refuse to accept the commonly held opinion of the identity of the implied author. As a result. either by being incapable of assuming it or by “seeing through” it. The implied author/reader theory has played an important role in the development of READER RESPONSE CRITICISM and been subject to a wide range of refinements designed to offer more precise. individually “concretizing” it. male orientation. but each of us functioning within the framework established for the implied reader. is the ideal hypothetical reader who enters into a partnership with the implied author in order to complete the work—that is. then the work will be incomplete. created by the real reader’s inability or refusal to accept the implied reader’s role. Wayne Booth’s The Rhetoric of Fiction (1961) offers the fullest. On the other hand. the implied reader becomes a creative participant in the production of meaning. The “implied” reader. A reader may either lack sufficient knowledge or simply refuse to accept the “implied reader” role. each of us bringing to the reading our own experiences. treatment of the “implied author.

and in the relation of a son of David. and Gabriele D’Annunzio. the connection of parent-child incest to the symbolic killing of the rival parent is a critical fact central to the development of the individual. in the story of Joseph and his stepmother. In the Old Testament incestuous behavior is depicted in the seduction of Lot by his daughters. Literary impressionism shares with the art movement the belief that reality is a synthesis of sense experiences. emphasis falls on the creation of a mood or atmosphere reflecting a world filtered through an individual consciousness. Camille Pissarro. Edgar Degas. Thus from a Freudian perspective. an attempt to render images. incest Sexual relations among family members is an all but universal taboo. and others—inevitably had an impact on the literature of the period. the powerful interplay of primal feelings grouped under the heading of the OEDIPAL COMPLEX. During that time. observer and observed are merged (see MODERNISM). Pierre-Auguste Renoir. But beyond the shock value of incest. In classical Greece incest is characteristic of the gods as well of ill-fated humans. To some extent this mood is created by a “painterly” style. impressionism The success in the late 19th century of the impressionist school of painters—Claude Monet. Maria E. in psychoanalytical terms. a fact that contributes to its power as a literary theme. and that the distinction between subject and object is misleading. Judith Fetterley’s The Resisting Reader (1978) views the reader’s role from the perspective of FEMINIST CRITICISM. Among these were Oscar Wilde. Kronegger’s Literary Impressionism (1973) is a useful guide. that represent the literary equivalents of Impressionist paintings. The most powerful influence of impressionism was indirect: It helped to infuse modern literature with a lyric element and the importance of capturing a passing mood in which character and scene. Tammar. reflections of light and sound. Stefan George. Rainer Maria Rilke. In the impressionist literary style. James Joyce. its great period is more or less parallel to the art movement. For Sigmund Freud and later practitioners of PSYCHOANALYTICAL CRITICISM. Although examples of literary impressionism can be detected even earlier than the movement in art. What is real is the object-as-experienced by a perceiver (see PHENOMENOLOGY). from 1875 until World War I. and his stepsister. Anton Chekhov. the Oedipal complex is pivotal in life as well as literature. Amnon. writers from a variety of countries made the pilgrimage to Paris to absorb the impressionist ambience. there lies.IMPRESSIONISM a highly readable account of these and other literary ideas. 210 . Édouard Manet. such as Oedipus.

incunabula A term for books printed before the year 1501. is a moving tragedy of stepmother-stepson incest. in the view of some critics. Heisenberg’s Indeterminacy Principle argues that the attempt to measure at the same time position/momentum and energy/time must result in an inaccuracy. In FILM.” from modern physics that has been adapted by contemporary literary theorists. to argue that the act of interpretation alters the work 211 . a major role in Fielding’s Tom Jones (1749). sometimes referred to as “uncertainty. incest assumes a minor role in Defoe’s Moll Flanders (1722) and. In science. these early books were large and ornate and are prized by rare book collectors. Jean Racine’s Phèdre (1677). although with no amelioration of the tragic consequences of incestuous passion. many books were published that resembled medieval manuscripts in size and form with typefaces based upon the handwriting of the time. an adaptation of Euripides’s Hippolytus. edited by Donald Cary and R. indeterminacy A term. is an anthology of literary treatments of incest. In more general terms. 1455. Violation of Taboo. and Iris Murdoch’s novel A Severed Head (1962). and of father-daughter incest in Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (1974). C. the theme of mother-son relations has been addressed in Louis Malle’s Murmur of the Heart (1971) and Neil Jordan’s The Miracle (1990). the only explicit example is in Pericles. which depicts the love of brother and sister sympathetically. The best known example in English drama is John Ford’s tragedy ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore (1633). After the invention of the printing press ca. where the evil King Antiochus is guilty of incest with his daughter.INDETERMINACY Although many psychoanalytical interpretations of Shakespeare focus on hidden incestuous motifs. the term is associated with the physicist Werner Heisenberg. This principle has been adapted in literary theory. particularly by deconstructionists. in which the fear that he has committed incest with his mother produces a moral transformation in Tom’s character. The tradition of the superior character of brother-sister love is developed further in Herman Melville’s Pierre (1852). Otto Rank’s The Incest Theme in Literature and Legend (1912) is the classic study of the subject. Among the English Romantic poets. Heisenberg’s theory suggests that the very act of measuring these quantities alters them. incest between brother and sister is seen as an example of pure uncorrupted love in Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem “Epipsychidion” (1821) and Lord Byron’s CLOSET DRAMA Cain (1821). E. Thomas Mann’s short story “The Blood of the Walsungs” (1921). With the emergence of the novel in the 18th century. As a result. Masters (1963).

the daughter of Indian parents won the Pulitzer Prize for her collection of stories Intepreter of Maladies (1997). taken on new ones. ed. Zulfikar Ghose. given the innate instability of language itself. Having witnessed the partition riots in the late 1940s. as one who has lived on three continents. . . he has written one novel about Pakistan in the 1950s. and the United States. Nevertheless. and her novel Jasmine (1989). Mukherjee is well known as the author of The Middleman and Other Stories (1988). They have shed old identities. In Joyce’s Uncertainty Principle (1987). a short story collection that won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction in 1988. and at least one from Pakistan. post-1965. and learned to hide the scars. “. South America.” Meena Alexander expresses the immigrant dilemma in her memoir Fault Lines (1993). a linguistic interpretation of a linguistic text is inescapably indeterminate (see DECONSTRUCTION. THEORY). That is to say that. born in 1935 in what is now Pakistan. Index librorum prohibitorum (Index of forbidden books) A list of books compiled by the Vatican that Roman Catholics were forbidden to read. which attempts to help create an understanding of the Indian-American immigrant. . Bharati Mukherjee and Meena Alexander. Gurleen Grewal’s “Indian-American Literature” and Sunil Sharma’s “Pakistani-American Literature” appear in New Immigrant Literatures in the United States (1996). His connection to his native land is such that his autobiography is titled The Confessions of a Native Alien (1965). . it is a fiction—a very dangerous one—to think we can play endlessly in postmodernist fashion.: “The people I write about are culturally and politically several hundred years old.” A younger IndianAmerican writer. the Index was abandoned in 1966. 212 .INDEX LIBRORUM PHOHIBITORUM it seeks to interpret. The Murder of Aziz Khan (1967). Phillip Herring argues that James Joyce used uncertainty as a device designed to provoke the reader to further reflection. Nevertheless. was updated and revised periodically from the 16th to the 20th centuries. Zulfikar Ghose is a prolific author. As a result of strong criticism during Vatican Council II. Jhumpa Lahiri. which exposes the machinations of the ruling class in that decade. as it was known. Indian/Pakistani American literature As recent arrivals. he is profoundly skeptical of nationalist claims and has lived most of his life in England. Alpana Sharma Knippling. . The Index. Speaking of the “multiple anchorages” she experiences. they have produced at least two outstanding writers from India. because our ethnicity is located in our bodies and comes in as a pressure to resist this sort of fracturing. the development of literary cultures in these two communities is still in its infancy.

among others. Part I. and Thoreau. This activity. whose experiments in magic represent both the threat and the possible benefits of modern science. it represented a profound threat to the social order. proclaiming their defiance of the social status quo. taking precedence over the collective. Shakespeare’s major VILLAINS. and Edmund in King Lear. and trust. 1854) desiring to live a life of simplicity. when directed to the reading of the BIBLE. 1808. In this heady atmosphere it became possible for some individuals to break through the confining structures of authority and law in order to “fashion a self. whose assertion of the need for the individual’s self-reliance. Emerson. increased during his lifetime as he witnessed both in America and Europe the growth of commercialism and materialism and the conformity that they fostered. Thoreau extended Emerson’s ideas of the links between the self and nature by building a hut in the woods (described in his best-known book. the theorist. Michel de Montaigne. In Myths of Modern Individualism. The earliest of these is the 16th-century Faust. played a critical role in the REFORMATION. reflects a greater tolerance of the individualist ethos as Faust is triumphantly welcomed into heaven. of civil disobedience. seeing the individualism of the Reformation ironically realized in the German people’s pact with the evil of Nazism. Don Quixote. the critic Ian Watt focuses on four archetypal individuals: Faust (see FAUSTIAN THEME). 213 . perhaps thinking of that Renaissance individualist whose writings were an important source for him. Richard III. Part II. the theorist/practitioner— reflect a radical commitment to individualism. magnanimity. where he developed his idea. Walden. On the other hand. and Robinson Crusoe. Hamlet.INDIVIDUALISM individualism The social doctrine that the individual is the primary element of society. Iago. Goethe’s 19th-century version (Faust. 1947) reverts to the 16th-century version. 1588) is Faust’s refusal to disavow his individual identity even as he is dragged into hell. created the first “self-conscious” character in literature. Notable in Christopher Marlowe’s rendering of the myth (The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. The doctrine makes its first significant appearance in the Western world among the Sophists of ancient Greece. DON JUAN. 1832). on the other hand. Private reading opened the doors to a wide range of perspectives for the individual reader. are fierce individualists. independence. Shakespeare. Thomas Mann’s 20th-century version (Doktor Faustus. It reemerged in the RENAISSANCE with the invention of the printing press. Two names in American literature that dominate the discussion of individualism are Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.These two champions of the individual—Emerson. the enemy of the individual.” Insofar as Renaissance individualism was associated with unbridled egoism (see MACHIAVEL).

ideas. forming important elements in the development of William James’s and John Dewey’s PRAGMATISM. only in this way can that which is common. In this sense. DuBois and William Carlos Williams. be preserved among differences.” the personal precursor. economic. resisting) writer recognizes an earlier writer as the “father. Thus the act of writing becomes an AGON or contest with the predecessor. . The critic Charles Mitchell cites two examples of the Emersonian influence on the American writers W. The opening of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew (frequently omitted in modern productions) contains an induction relating to a drunken tinker. Thomas Sackville’s induction to a COMPLAINT included in A Mirror for Magistrates (1563) is a fine example of mid-16th-century poetry. but “liberty. a continually renewed Oedipal struggle. . in which the strong poet must proceed through six phases in order to achieve mastery. Bloom speaks of “the anxiety of influence. influence In literary study the impact of events. and Charles Dickens’s memorable study of life in a textile town. There must be left a wide individualism and yet no individualism must be allowed to infringe on others’ freedom. . Christopher Sly.” Williams asserted in his poetry that the freedom of the modern poet is not freedom with its implication of sheer anarchy. The critic Harold Bloom employs a special use of the term.INDUCTION Emerson’s and Thoreau’s ideas continue to reverberate in American intellectual life. industrial revolution The social. a “strong” (that is. the word contains the same somewhat vague character that it does in ordinary usage. induction A 16th-century term for an introduction or prologue to a play or poem. When the influence on a given text is another.” In other words. DuBois called for “a new interpretation of the word freedom. B. E. Mitchell’s Individualism and Its Discontents (1997) traces the influence of Emerson’s ideas in the 20th century. . commonly possessed.” a condition in which “strong poets” view the great canonical writers as Freudian father figures who must be overcome by a process of first “misreading” and then “rewriting. disciplined power. Harold Bloom’s theory is worked out in The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry (1973). the older text is frequently designated as a SOURCE. . and cultural changes in English life brought about by the shift from home manufacture to large factories in the late 18th and 19th centuries. The social evils of the factory system were explored in a number of Victorian novels including Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton (1848) and North and South (1855). Hard Times (1854). or persons on subse- quent literature. earlier text.” Charles E. whom he or she is determined to surpass. 214 . .

The poem attempts to function as the verbal equivalent of the windhover’s essence and form. Since the Romantic period. The classical convention located a writer’s inspiration in the MUSES. Modern writers sometimes describe inspiration as a demonic spell.” Instress is the force that gives a form to inscape. the Self and God (1986) provides a cogent analysis of the terms. kingdom of daylight’s dauphin. Shakespeare satirizes inkhornism in the figure of the bombastic Don Armado. the traditional term for the source of a writer’s creativity. writers have tended to focus on the faculty of the IMAGINATION as the source of poetic activity. but they resoundingly assert that what is at work in the creative process is a combination 215 . Hopkins uses inscape to single out the individuating character of a natural thing. Walter J. as in his poem “The Windhover” (1877): I caught this morning morning’s minion. dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon. . The practice is a common feature of modern literature and film. . who at one point asks “Dost thou infamonize me among potentates?” in medias res (in the middle of things) A NARRATIVE convention in which a story begins in the middle of an important action rather than at its chronological beginning. that which distinguishes it from everything else. In Love’s Labour’s Lost. in his riding Of the rolling level . The technique is associated with the classical EPIC. its inscape and instress. Ong’s Hopkins. inscape/instress Terms employed by the Victorian poet Gerard Manley Hopkins to describe certain features of nature. The term was used to ridicule the pedantry and pomposity of the new coinages. inspiration In literary study.INSPIRATION inkhornism An ELIZABETHAN term for a word or phrase that reflected a newly coined term. Hopkins’s poetry strives to capture both qualities by representing creatures whose actions are at one with their nature. which begins not with the abduction of Helen or the Greek expedition to Troy. exemplified in Homer’s Iliad. borrowed from another language. The sound and rhythm of these lines duplicate the swerving flight of the windhover. where it frequently involves the use of the FLASHBACK. its “thisness. but with the anger of Achilles in the middle of the Trojan War. particularly Latin. enabling it to be perceived by an observer. noted for its ability to hover in the air.

guesswork. In the words of O. As T. In Mindwheel. and Mindwheel (1984). Hardison. intentional fallacy According to the New Critics W. the term may refer to the use of literary texts in a nonliterary discipline. a dead military dictator.A.S. the reader/user experiences an unusually high degree of involvement with the text. “The idea. S. B. Alternatively. Some critics have viewed the growing popularity of this type of fiction as evidence that the age of the BOOK is coming to a close (see CYBERPUNK. B. of course. interactive computer fiction A term for stories created in part by decisions made by the “reader. and a scientific genius. sociology. See AFFECTIVE FALLACY. HYPERTEXT). the words on the paper. Wimsatt and Beardsley argued that. the fallacy of locating the meaning of a work of literature in the intention of its AUTHOR. K. Both developments have become increasingly evident in recent years. a pioneer work that originated in the ’60s and has undergone a number of updates and revisions. Hardison considers some broad-ranging implications in his Disappearing Through the Skylight (1989). a poet. interdisciplinarity refers to the practice of approaching FICTION. the reader/user must solve problems requiring reasoning. Instead. or intuition. You have an adventure. S.” T. the emergence of THEORY in the latter half of the 216 . simply comes. O. In order to proceed with the reading. Wimsatt and Monroe Beardsley.” Among the best-known interactive stories is Adventure. Eliot phrased it.INTENTIONAL FALLACY of calculation and inspiration. but upon arrival is subject to prolonged manipulation. They also listed as fallacious the attempt to determine the meaning from the experience of the reader. trilogy (1930–31) in a course on 20th-century American history. interdisciplinarity Insofar as it applies to literature. POETRY and DRAMA from the standpoint of other disciplines such as psychology. the reader is asked to occupy the minds of a murdered rock star. a mystery novel. In many respects. As a result. the meaning was to be determined from the TEXT itself. in the majority of cases. by the well-known poet Robert Pinsky. Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? (1986).” in this case the computer user. Eliot’s comment is from his The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism (1933). Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925) or John Dos Passos’s U. it was neither possible nor desirable to search for the meaning in the author’s intention. Thus it is not unusual to encounter novels such as F. or history. “You do not read about an adventure.

the closing section of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses (1922). sociology. “like wearing earphones plugged into someone’s brain. and fantasies as they are triggered either by physical sensations or the association of ideas. reflections. a poet and satirist as well as a playwright. based 217 . others have argued that existing disciplines are too narrow and specialized to address the complexity of modern culture. Not surprisingly. Heywood’s most successful interludes are The Four P’s (1521). interior monologue In FICTION. a NARRATIVE technique in which a character’s intimate thoughts and impressions are related directly and immediately. In America the best example of an interdisciplinary literary figure in the 20th century is Kenneth Burke. psychology. which he transformed into a new RHETORIC by employing insights from anthropology.” The term is sometimes used interchangeably with stream of consciousness. in the words of novelist and critic David Lodge. Marjorie Garber’s Academic Instincts (2001) takes a perceptive view of both sides of the interdisciplinarity argument. See DRAMATISM. Other novels featuring interior monologues include Manhattan Transfer (1925) by John Dos Passos. To the Lighthouse (1927) by Virginia Woolf.INTERLUDE 20th century virtually dictated an interdisciplinary approach—so much so that a backlash developed charging that too many interdisciplinary approaches lacked “intellectual coherence. interlude A type of short play that achieved popularity in 16th-century England. but it now appears that “interlude” was widely used to refer to any kind of theatrical entertainment. who began his career as a writer of poetry and fiction in the 1920s. memories. and monitoring the subject’s impressions. and semantics. SYMBOLIC ACTION. For the reader the effect is. The best known of the interlude authors was John Heywood. questions.) The best-known example of interior monologue is Molly Bloom’s soliloquy. The term traditionally has been used to describe a play brief enough to be performed between the courses of a banquet. (See FREE INDIRECT STYLE. Burke’s work explores the interconnectedness of human affairs through the miracle of language. others being free indirect discourse and simple first-person narration. although increasingly there has been a tendency to define stream of consciousness as a type of fiction that represents a character’s consciousness.” On the other hand. and The Sound and the Fury (1929) and As I Lay Dying (1930) by William Faulkner. moving into literary criticism in the 1930s and formal RHETORIC in the 1940s. and interior monologue as one form of that representation. They point to exceptional thinkers who have burst the bounds of a single discipline.

Tyb His Wife and Sir John the Priest (1533). which rejects the idea of a TEXT as a single. His Wife and Her Lover (1990). David Bevington’s From Mankind to Marlowe (1962) provides an overview of the development of dramatic form during the 16th century. interpretation The process of construing or constructing meaning in a TEXT.INTERNAL RHYME on a medieval French FARCE. see VALUE JUDGMENT. its grammar. “a set of relations with other texts. a comedy of cuckoldry whose title is ironically echoed in the Peter Greenaway film The Cook. For discussion of the relationship of interpretation to evaluation. The latter view is the position of READER RESPONSE CRITICISM and RECEPTION THEORY. the principles governing the practice of interpreting. the rhyming of two or more words in a single line. HERMENEUTICS is the study of the theory of interpretation.” From these perspectives. internal rhyme In VERSE. With the emergence of the public theaters near the end of the 16th century. and Johan Johan the Husband. Thomas Middleton. within the “text itself.” interpolation The insertion of lines into another text by someone other than the original AUTHOR of the TEXT. an assemblage of prior texts. The overall performance usually represents the director’s interpretation. the Thief. Any given text is. autonomous entity created by a single author. Its system of language. both of which argue that meaning is “constructed” by a reader in interaction with the text. intertextuality A term associated with POSTSTRUCTURALISM. Another sense of interpretation refers to a performance of a play or film. in the words of Vincent Leitch. the meaning of a text resides in the intention of the author or. as in DECONSTRUCTION. Well-known examples are the insertions into Shakespeare’s Macbeth of lines and songs from The Witch a play by Shakespeare’s contemporary. The opposing view rejects either the idea of a determinate meaning. 218 . interludes fell out of favor. or the idea that the meaning is “within” the text. Traditionally. the aim of interpretation is to extract or discern the meaning within. instead. as in NEW CRITICISM. while an individual performance within the play may represent the actor’s interpretation. as in Johnny Mercer’s song “That Old Black Magic”: “The mate. that fate had me created for. The difference between “construing” and “constructing” points up the difference between traditional and contemporary views of interpretation.

which relies heavily on references to earlier styles and conventions. the process of discovering the information that will make up the body of the speaker or writer’s presentation. Citational intertextuality is a prominent feature of postmodernist literature. which she derived from the theory of DIALOGISM formulated by Mikhail Bakhtin. edited by Patrick O’Donnell and Robert Con Davis. invention is rarely used in modern criticism. the situation being referred to. and unconscious sources. Broadly speaking. Julia Kristeva’s theories are available in The Kristeva Reader. . and its context. film. In Anthony Trollope’s The Eustace Diamonds (1872). Presupposition involves assumptions regarding the reader. Dialogism posits the presence of a variety of “voices” in a text. In effect Kristeva has added to dialogism the principle that all language is made up of prior uses of language. the narrator “begs his reader not to believe that that opulent and aristocratic Becky Sharp [Lady Eustace] is to assume the dignity of heroine in the following pages. although as employed in the RENAISSANCE and the 18th century it carried the force of a vague compliment to an author’s imaginative ability. Intertextuality and Contemporary American Fiction (1989). (2) that it is reasonable to assume that if the opening chapters of a novel are devoted to a character. At the beginning of Chapter Three.” The passage assumes (1) that the reader is aware of the convention of being directly addressed in a kind of authorial aside. These voices contribute to the text’s pluralist nature—its shared identity with other texts. for example. In this respect intertextuality characterizes a cultural sense that everything has already been said. the protagonist of William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair (1848). invention In RHETORIC. offers essays on the theory and practice of intertextuality in literature. engages in extensive allusions that its knowing audience will recognize. formulating a thesis and finding good reasons to support the thesis.” and (3) that the reader will be familiar with the character of Becky Sharp. 219 . the first two chapters are devoted to the character of Lady Eustace.INVENTION its lexicon drag along numerous bits and pieces—traces—of history so that the text resembles a cultural Salvation Army outlet. that character will be the “heroine. imitation.” The French critic Julia Kristeva coined the term. and consistently calls attention to itself as being made up of other texts. and that the ironic consciousness of this condition is a kind of mastery over it. . edited by Toril Moi (1986). but also literary conventions. . As a term in literary study. and television. there are two types of intertextuality: citation and presupposition. Citation includes not only direct quotation and allusion. parody.

Kennedy. Dooley’s neighborhood produced another Irish-American voice. Farrell powerfully depicted Irish tenement life in the Chicago slums. In 1893. James T. this one as serious and somber as Mr. The earliest authentic voice of this group was Finley Peter Dunne. In his Studs Lonigan trilogy (1932–35) and his Danny O’Neill tetralogy (1936–53). in a series of newspaper sketches. The landmark along the way is the Great Hunger. his language coated with a brogue. soon assumed the role of a national sage. when more than a million “Banished Children of Eve” (the title of Peter Quinn’s 1994 novel about these refugees) crowded into the large cities of the United States. the potato famine of 1847–1850. who invoked the muses both at the beginning of the poem and to introduce his famous “Catalogue of the Ships. Mr. invocation The appeal to the MUSE that is a convention of the EPIC poem. that would ascend The brightest heaven of invention. in 1960. There had been an earlier wave. but even more. Irish-American literature In its broad outline. Dooley. when thousands of Irish Protestants (many of them of Scotch descent) left Northern Ireland to seek their fortunes in the new world. in the 18th century. who retained their ethnic identity well into the 20th century. in part by their skills in politics. his spokesman. But it was the 19th-century Catholic Irish. Farrell looked at the Irish poor as imprisoned by poverty. as in Garry Wills’s Inventing America (1978) and Harold Bloom’s Shakespeare and the Invention of the Human (1998). an Irish immigrant bartender on the South Side of Chicago. the Chorus invokes the muse in the opening line: O for a Muse of fire. The convention was established in the Iliad of Homer. by their own fantasies and their need to be affirmed by others. assisted by their easy charm and way with words. Their rise had been fueled. Mr. most of them impoverished peasants.” In the Prologue to Shakespeare’s Henry V. Dooley was witty and sly. to be sure. the history of the Irish Americans can be summarized in a phrase: the movement from the “shanty” to. the White House. Martin Dooley. By the 1940s.INVOCATION Some recent writers have used the term as a kind of metaphor for the introduction of a new idea. The political Irish are captured in Edwin O’Connor’s The 220 . The poet is asking the muse for poetic inspiration and/or knowledge in order to proceed with his poem. numbering among their descendants many presidents before and since John F. This group quickly assimilated into mainstream Anglo-Saxon culture. the Irish had for the most part left poverty behind. he created.

On the other. all three sensitive. the major theme in her work is theological. and John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt (2004). In this respect. After World War II. Other notable Irish-American achievements in DRAMA are William Alfred’s evocation of an Irish community in Brooklyn. the characters in That Night (1987). Ironweed (1983). P. Something of a transitional figure in the loss of Irish identity is the extraordinarily gifted SHORT STORY writer and novelist. and Charming Billy (1998) are flawed. 1970) Maureen Howard. The last two of these novels deal with the Famine generation. Final Payments (1978). with greater literary skill. In the comic vein are two splendid PICARESQUE novels. McDermott is extending the work of Elizabeth Cullinan (House of Gold. such as Jimmy Breslin (Table Money. Long Day’s Journey Into Night (1941. Hogan’s Goat (1966). 221 . Irish Americans. but beautifully realized human beings. each one of whom is tragically conflicted with. and Mary Gordon. 1986). an American’s adventure studying in Ireland. The others are set in the years between 1920 and 1950. a reminder that the Americanization of Irish Catholics has not as yet extended to their religious affiliation. along with millions of others. Eugene O’Neill. they had become homogenized. with its impossible. lured in that direction by a predominantly Irish-American Catholic hierarchy. a searing depiction of the church’s response to the alleged molestation of a boy by a priest. AtWeddings and Wakes (1992). Billy Phelan’s Greatest Game (1978). in William Kennedy’s novels focused on the Irish in Albany: Legs (1975). the children of Democratic ward politics had become right-wing Republicans.IRISH-AMERICAN LITERATURE Last Hurrah (1956) and. J. In a series of novels that explore the inner life of the suburban Irish. Quinn’s Book (1988) and Very Old Bones (1992). specifically Catholic. often frozen. All four may be seen as exploring the territory of the greatest Irish-American writer. Bridgeport Bus (1965). whose crowning achievement. 1972) is that something died in Irish Americans when they moved to the suburbs. 1989) and the sociologist/novelist Andrew Greeley (That Most Distressful Nation. first produced in 1956) depicts the dissolution of an Irish-American family. and mutually dependent upon. Flannery O’Connor. Donleavy’s The Ginger Man (1958). her fiction exhibits no references to things Irish. abandoned their urban enclaves and staked their claim on the embodiment of the American dream. and John Kennedy Toole’s cult classic The Confederacy of Dunces (1969). Conditioned by their culture. the house in the suburbs. Alice McDermott depicts the quiet desperation underlying their personal lives. the others. Pete Hamill (Loving Women. On the one hand. critical recorders of postwar IrishAmerican society. The view of prominent IrishAmerican journalists and novelists.

Irish renaissance A term used to describe the period (from about 1885 until the eve of World War II) when a number of Irish-born writers produced extraordinary achievements in poetry.” Among historical novels. ‘Tis (1999). Thomas Flanagan’s trilogy (The Year of the French [1979]. coming to grips with life in a New York tenement. Pride and Prejudice) to the ominously dark: “Someone must have been telling lies about Joseph K. drama. Implicit in Socratic irony is the notion of dissembling. one headed by an aspiring actor. and The End of the Hunt [1994]) traces the history of Ireland from 1798 to the death of Michael Collins in 1922. James Joyce (fiction). This idea is also present in classical comedy in the 222 . 2. 1995). and John Millington Synge and Sean O’Casey (drama). Edward Burns has caught the Irish-American suburbanites at the point where their children are developing a new moral code (The Brothers McMullen. Jim Sheridan’s In America (2003) captures the experience of a different kind of immigrant family. In FILM. he was arrested one fine morning” (Franz Kafka. Modern Irish American Fiction: A Reader (1989) offers a selection of recent work Charles Fanning’s The Irish Voice in America (1990) is a useful survey.IRISH RENAISSANCE unforgettable protagonist Ignatius Reilly. The Tenants of Time [1988]. 1. Among its common uses in literary study are 1) as a rhetorical and literary device.) irony A term with a number of distinct references. Socratic irony is a term used to describe Socrates’ technique of feigning ignorance by asking innocent questions that would eventually trap his opponents in a debate. and by the movement to secure Home Rule (and later independence) from England. and Teacher Man (2005) all three works perfect illustrations of the principle of another Irishman. Comedy and misery mingle memorably in Frank McCourt’s memoirs Angela’s Ashes (1996). The Trial). 3) as a way of perceiving life itself. Samuel Beckett: “There’s nothing funnier than unhappiness. and fiction. (See also ABBEY THEATRE. Irony refers to the technique of implying something very different from what one is ostensibly saying. This creative outburst was fueled in part by the revival of a national identity associated with the attempt to restore the Gaelic language. The intention of an ironic statement can range from the comically light: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife” (Jane Austen. 2) as a mode of literature. pretending to be something one is not. Among the artists associated with the period are four of the 20th century’s greatest writers in their respective genres: William Butler Yeats (poetry). for without having done anything wrong.

knowing spectator. irony underwent a transformation from a rhetorical and literary device to a broad-ranging. The term dramatic irony thus refers to any situation in which the audience has knowledge that the character lacks. it had become a grand Hegelian concept . 3. . TRAGEDY. a self-conscious genre in which heroism and meaningful action have been lost. In this sense it is the characteristic genre of the 20th century. Cleanth Brooks’s analysis of Keats’s poem appears in his The Well Wrought Urn (1947). born in New Jersey of immigrant parents. for example.” In this sense irony means something very close to PARADOX. vigorously present in the novels of Pietro di Donato and John Fante. In the 20th century irony plays a central role in NEW CRITICISM. Sacco and Vanzetti. irony stands as a GENRE along with COMEDY. Italian-American fiction had to wait for a second generation. the capacity of poetic language to reconcile opposites. Di Donato. all-encompassing idea. not the rule. . In classical tragedy irony is a structural feature of plays such as Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. joined the Communist Party on the day two Italian immigrants. allied to the seasonal myths that Frye sees as underlying all of literature. Disguising himself as a low-born or mentally incompetent figure. In the MYTH CRITICISM of Northrop Frye. Wayne Booth’s The Rhetoric of Irony (1974) is a selective and insightful analysis.” the ironic meaning of the poem is that “the frozen moment of loveliness is more dynamic than the fluid world of reality. in which the murderer Oedipus sets out to expose turns out to be himself. and ROMANCE. Thus. In the 18th and 19th centuries. only because it is frozen. or a synonym for romanticism. were executed for a crime they did not commit. sometimes called Romantic or cosmic irony. “by the end of the Romantic period. irony is the myth of winter. Most of these immigrants came from a peasant culture where literacy was the exception. or even an essential attribute of God. In his scheme.ITALIAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE STOCK CHARACTER known as the EIRON. His sense of outrage and passion informs his novel 223 . in Cleanth Brooks’s new critical reading of Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn. developed from the belief that life is inherently a mix of opposites and that the most appropriate response to its double-edged nature is to assume the role of a detached. In the words of critic Wayne Booth. the pompous braggart. where the term is used to denote an essential characteristic of poetry.” This attitude. Northrop Frye’s use of the term appears in his Anatomy of Criticism (1957). Italian-American literature The major wave of Italian immigration occurred between 1890 and 1920. the eiron eventually triumphs over his opponent the ALAZON.

whose work has not generally touched on the ethnic theme. Mario Puzo’s The Fortunate Pilgrim (1965) depicted life in Little Italy with sensitivity and insight. is the sophisticated poet John Ciardi. many Italian Americans are upset at the impression created by these films. However. In addition to her own creative writing. In contrast to these two working-class novelists. that filter has been intensified by the films of the equally talented director Martin Scorsese Mean Streets (1970) and Goodfellas (1990). in the words of the critic Fred Gardaphe. Following these powerful films is the enormously successful television series. Where few would dispute the cinematic brilliance of these works. but it was his novel The Godfather (1969). adapting to life in America. he depicts life in the Italian section of the Bronx in the early 1950s. Unquestionably the most important Italian-American novelist is Don DeLillo. American Streets (1996) surveys the development of Italian American literature. Fred L. Gardaphe’s Italian Signs. in the penultimate section of his acclaimed novel Underground (1997). Paper Fish (1980) by Tina de Rosa. Among the works. The 1960s saw the emergence of the writer who was to have a profound influence on the image of Italian Americans throughout the world.ITALIAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE Christ in Concrete (1939). less sensational but truer to the reality of ordinary Italian Americans are three novels by women: Umbertina (1979) by Helen Barolini. John Fante’s Wait Until Spring. a classic account of working-class immigrant life. The Sopranos. whose work includes a translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy (1954). and Ghost Dance (1986) by Carol Maso. that created. transformed by director Francis Ford Coppola into two of the most acclaimed achievements in film history. all three exploring and explicating their culture from the experience of Italian-American women. Bondini (1938) and Dago Red (1940) depict immigrant workers and their families as they struggle to maintain their dignity. Barolini has made an important contribution in publicizing the work of a new generation of Italian women writers in her collection The Dream Book (1985). “a mythic filter through which Italian-American culture would henceforth be read. 224 .” If so.

grew perceptibly sharper during the reign of her successor.ååå . created a storm of controversy. the papal authorities condemned the movement. the brooding tragedies of John Webster. In poetry. Jansenism A 17th-century reform movement within the Catholic Church that had a significant impact on the intellectual life of the time. but despite his eloquence. The drama of the period displayed the satiric comedy of Ben Jonson. The conflict between Parliament and King. Othello. (Jacobean is derived from the Latin word for James. Cornelis Jansen. which hewed closely to the doctrine of predestination in CALVINISM. Wilson’s Elizabethan and Jacobean (1945). who argued that divine grace is not earned by good works but is arbitrarily bestowed by God on some and not on others. the mathematician and theologian. the Elizabethan. Pascal defended the cause of Jansenism against the attacks of the JESUITS in his Provincial Letters (1656–57). King Lear.) In contrast to the optimism and promise of the ELIZABETHAN era. Jansenism took its name from a Dutch bishop. This doctrine. whose insistence on royal divine right exacerbated tensions. and Antony and Cleopatra. For an illuminating contrast of the two periods. but no less brilliant than. the buildings at Port-Royal were demolished. among them Blaise Pascal. doubting tones. in 1709. and. John Donne and his followers developed the unique style of METAPHYSICAL POETRY. The movement had its intellectual center at PORT-ROYAL. 225 . But the greatest glory of the Jacobean era were Shakespeare’s great tragedies: Macbeth. P. carefully controlled under Elizabeth. see F. jå Jacobean English literature in the reign of James I (1603–25). the essays of Francis Bacon along with his scientific studies set the stage for scientific development later in the century. the dark comedies of Shakespeare. a school that attracted a number of prominent intellectuals. In prose. Jacobean literature was colored by darker. The new atmosphere produced a literature distinct from.

and yonsei. unexpressed emotions and fueled a search for ethnic identity. Particularly poignant is John Okada’s No No Boy (1957. who present characters apparently devoid of free will. 1979). In 1924. Alpana Sharma Knippling (1996).JAPANESE-AMERICAN LITERATURE The term Jansenist has been applied to modern religious writers. (For a book of poems with the same title. Ichiro refuses to be drafted and is imprisoned. an exclusionary immigration law was enacted effectively cutting off the flow of immigrants from Asia. 1976). “Japanese American Literature” in New Immigrant Literatures in the United States. Benzi Zhang. Generally used in a derogatory sense.on the part of nisei. Another notable Japanese-American work is Cynthia Kadahota’s The Floating World (1989). However painful the experience. Then in 1942 came the central traumatizing event in the history of Japanese Americans—their relocation to internment camps. leaves the camp only to discover that she’s not accepted in white society. He ends up totally alienated and despised. The experience of three generations of Japanese Canadians is recounted in Joy Kogawa’s Obrason (1981). evacuated to a camp with her parents.Yoshiko Uchida’s Picture Bride (1987). Japanese-American literature Japanese Americans employ specific terms in order to identify each generation: issei nisei sansei yonsei first generation second generation third generation fourth generation The first generation immigrated either to Hawaii or the Pacific Coast in the years between 1883 to 1924. sausei. jargon A term used to describe the specialized terminology of particular groups or professions. 1941). it had one salutary effect: Internment unlocked dormant. As a result. ed. it carries an implicit 226 . One of the first Japanese-American novels dealing with the impact of internment is Monica Sone’s Nisei Daughter (1953. which portrays the effect of war and internment on a young nisei. see Cathy Song’s Picture Bride [1983] in KOREAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE). he invites the wrath of his nisei friends desperate to be accepted as American. a story of a woman who immigrates to America as part of an arranged marriage. Lured into rejecting the draft because of his unstable mother’s fanatical devotion to Japan. a novel that captures the Japanese-American search for a true home in America. whose heroine. where they were confined until 1944. such as the French novelist François Mauriac (A Woman of the Pharisees.

Literary critics have often been accused of using jargon. Jack Kerouac. for example. Many within and without the university complain that theory-influenced critics not only introduce too many new terms but that they encase them in unreadable sentences.JEALOUSY criticism that those who employ jargon do so in order either to exclude outsiders or to create the impression of complexity or profundity.” The guilt or innocence of the suspected lover can play a critical role in the action of the story. Eliot and the BEAT writers. the narrator views the suspected lovers through a louvre shutter. This voyeuristic element is a recurrent feature 227 . the most striking feature of. “Is there any good reason why such a book should be so hard to follow?” Marjorie Garber holds that ”the history of jargon is the history of ideas in the making. as in some modern texts. particularly that associated with the HARLEM RENAISSANCE. in Shakespeare’s words. its inevitable consequence. hunting for clues. converting him or her into a parody of a detective. considered the jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker one of the major influences on his writing. “the green-ey’d monster” is its obsessional nature: how it gradually consumes the life of its victim. interpreting evidence. jealousy Although in general use a synonym for ENVY. where the emphasis is on the psychology of the jealous person. but it may be of only marginal significance. jealousy is entangled with the theme of romantic LOVE. Marjorie Garber’s Academic Instincts (2001) devotes a chapter to the subject. in literature the term usually refers to a lover’s or spouse’s fear of infidelity. Such is the case in Alain Robbe-Grillet’s Jealousy (1957). emphasizes another recurrent feature of the jealous mind: the desire to see the act of infidelity. Thus. jazz A form of MUSIC developed by African-American musicians contain- ing distinctive rhythmic patterns and harmonies. 2005. The influence of jazz on literature is most apparent in AFRICAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE. in which improvisation plays an important role. Less apparent is the indebtedness to jazz rhythms of poets as different as T. particularly in recent years. it still leaves Mullan’s question unanswered. as for example in Shakespeare’s Othello or The Winter’s Tale. Jalousie. which in French is called a jalousie. John Mullan’s comments appear in the May 5. or. in which the nameless NARRATOR seems to have no other existence except to be the embodiment of jealousy. In the novel. John Mullan. after quoting an impenetrable sentence from a book under review asked. The French title of Robbe-Grillet’s novel. as it is in many modern novels.” Even if true. a reviewer in the London Review of Books. as a theme. either as its perversion. entrapping the real or imagined “criminal. issue of the London Review of Books. S. However represented.

the form is associated with the fierce sermons of 17th-century Puritan preachers in New England. Sacvan Bercovitch’s The American Jeremiad (1978) ties the Puritan jeremiad to the development of American nationalism. In American history. Thus Shakespeare’s Othello demands that Iago provide him “ocular proof ” of Desdemona’s guilt. a popular jest book alluded to in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. which in various revised editions maintained its popularity until the end of the 19th century.JEREMIAD of the jealousy theme. In that play. the witty Beatrice complains that her verbal sparring partner Benedick has slandered her by saying that “I had my wit out of the Hundred Merry Tales. refuses to do so because she does not believe that he will remain faithful. A well-known example is An Hundred Merry Tales (1526). notable for its inclusion of two reactions to jealousy: The husband of the princess. first published in 1739. She chooses peace of mind over the pain of jealousy. He soon falls ill and dies. Jesuits Members of the Society of Jesus. The best-known and most controversial 228 . now that she is free and can marry the man she loves. the Roman Catholic order of priests founded by Saint Ignatius Loyola in 1534. and mistakenly concludes that she is unfaithful. A French novel with a distinctive view of the subject is Madame de La Fayette’s The Princess of Clèves (1678). hires spies. in which the personal disintegration the jealous lovers undergo mirrors the collapse of their society. who was imprisoned for his outspoken criticism. Mencken’s essays and James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time (1963). jest books A collection of tales and extended jokes popular in 16th-century England. The term derives from the preaching of the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah. Examples of modern American jeremiads include H. L. His wife. Among the more disturbing examples of jealousy at work is the account in Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita (1955). in which the narrator’s jealousy is the culmination of the narcissism that underlies his passion for Lolita. obsessing over his wife’s acknowledged love for another man.” A famous descendant of the ELIZABETHAN jest books was Joe Miller’s Jests. Rosemary Lloyd’s Closer & Closer Apart (1995) examines the way jealousy “acts as a trope for both consuming and creating art and literature.” jeremiad A scathing denunciation of the evils of a society. The psychology of jealousy achieved its most powerful rendering in Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past (1913–27).

Emma Lazarus.JEWISH-AMERICAN LITERATURE of the Catholic orders. portrayed by Thomas Mann. 1934) and the playwright Clifford Odets (Awake and Sing. 1958) and Walter J. as brilliant but unstable (The Magic Mountain. On the one hand they have been satirized by John Donne (Ignatius His Conclave. Ong (Orality and Literacy. An early example of the literature that emerged from this migration is Abraham Cahan’s The Rise of David Levinsky (1917). the Jesuits have been alternately praised for their intellectual discipline and condemned for their alleged duplicity and cunning. 229 . Aveling’s The Jesuits (1981). a major VICTORIAN poet. 1935). In America. the great wave of Jewish immigration did not occur until the period from the 1880s to the 1920s. a history of the Order. 1930). in the character of Leo Naptha. depicting the struggles of Jewish families in New York in the depths of the Great Depression. represented as inquisitors by Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov. A decade later came the works of Michael Gold (Jews Without Money. Its author. H. The literary text that commemorates that quest is the famous SONNET inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty. Composed either in Latin or the vernacular. and treated with dislike but begrudging respect in James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1914). they fled in search of freedom and economic opportunity. but it had a special poignance for the Jews. The representation of Jesuits in literature reflects their controversial image. Henry Roth (Call it Sleep. Jesuit colleges achieved considerable distinction for the plays written and produced there. More recently they have served as models of inner anguish in two notable films. Denied full citizenship there and subject to periodic persecutions (pogroms). 1610). 1759). voiced a sentiment meant for all immigrants. a novel tracing the career of a successful Russian-Jewish immigrant and the price he pays for his success. Jewish-American literature Although some Jews had settled in America as early as the 17th century. herself a Jewish American. the Jesuit critics William Lynch (Christ and Apollo. A few even ventured into political satire. in the experimental verse of Gerard Manley Hopkins. and by Voltaire (Candide. these plays were not limited to religious subjects but frequently embraced historical and classical themes. contains a chapter on literature. 1982) have made major contributions to their fields. 1879–80). The Mission (1988) and Black Robe (1992). J. the vast majority from the ghettos of eastern Europe. In the 17th and 18th centuries. most notably. The Jesuit contribution to nondramatic literature is evident in the work of the ELIZABETHAN poet and martyr Robert Southwell and. C. 1927).

1957) and Saul Bellow’s pathbreaking The Adventures of Augie March (1953). whose intense subjectivity has moved from comedic satires of Jewish family life (Goodbye Columbus. and novelist Cynthia Ozick. jig In the ELIZABETHAN theater. Irving Howe’s The World of Our Fathers (1976). Jerry Seinfeld. 1959. Their immediate heir is Philip Roth.” a jig consisting of six short 230 . Sanford Pinsker’s Jewish American Fiction (1992) is a reliable survey. the jig referred both to a dance and to a brief musical that featured singing and dancing. in STAND-UP Lenny Bruce. An important area of literary culture in which Jewish Americans have made significant contributions is literary and cultural criticism. Kaufman and Moss Hart. Some of these appeared as the afterpiece of a play. The Assistant. and Woody Allen. George Burns. Mel Brooks. the best known of which is “Mr. Portnoy’s Complaint. The NEW YORK INTELLECTUALS. although Miller’s drama The Price (1968) stands as an exception. Female writers include the notable short fiction writers Tillie Olsen (Tell Me a Riddle. short story writer. ed. The most prominent of these is the essayist. Grace Paley (Enormous Changes at the Last Minute. and Alan King.JIG The postwar renaissance of Jewish-American literature is triggered by the stories and novels of Bernard Malamud (The Magic Barrel. and most important from the standpoint of JewishAmerican experience. Alpana Sharma Knippling (1996). in film the Marx Brothers.” The earliest example of an Elizabethan jig is “Michael and Francis. Distinguished Jewish-American writers who have not generally focused on the Jewish experience include J. Another area of culture in which Jewish writers and performers have excelled is comedy. Attowell’s Jigge. 1969) to passionate affirmations of Jewish identity (American Pastoral. exuberant voice the essential “Americaness” of its Jewish protagonists. Lionel Trilling’s The Liberal Imagination (1950). and of Neil Simon. 1996). exemplified by such works as Alfred Kazin’s A Walker in the City (1951). Jack Benny. in radio and television Fanny Brice. In theater. 2004). Mort Sahl. and Arthur Miller. In their wake have come a new generation focused less on Jewish identity than on the Jewish religious legacy. the rich tradition of Jewish wit and humor is evident in the plays of George S. Milton Berle. Larry David. Susan Sontag. 1967). 1974) and Allegra Goodman (The Family Markowitz. made major contributions to literary culture in the post–World War II era. Mark Krupnick’s guide to Jewish-American literature appears in New Immigrant Literatures in the United States. Normal Mailer. The wide-ranging critic Harold Bloom has been a major force in biblical criticism as well as in secular canonical literature. 1997 and The Plot Against America. Salinger. 1958. a novel that announces in a vibrant. D. a group associated with the journal Partisan Review.

As a result. In TRAGEDY. One response is “pleasure.” Jungian criticism See MYTH CRITICISM. An extraordinary example is the voluminous poetry and prose written by Emily. juggled. jingles have been a staple of radio and television ADVERTISING. and Branwell Brontë.JUVENILIA scenes. Campbell and Edward Quinn (1966).” Complicating these distinctions is Barthes’s paradoxical claim that the reader is conscious of both responses.” In The Pleasure of the Text (1973) the French critic and semiotician Roland Barthes employs the term to distinguish two responses to literature. dealing. who as children created the strange worlds of Gondal and Angria. the seeds out of which Jane Eyre (1847) and Wuthering Heights (1847) later grew. Hamlet’s dismissive reference to Polonius’s taste in drama. 231 . jongleur A French term. for example. with cuckoldry. that catches the attention of even a casual listener. O. the reader undergoes a process of steadily diminishing “pleasure” and increasing “jouissance. and performed acrobatic tricks. eds. describing a medieval wandering entertainer who sang. C.J.” the satisfaction of having one’s basic beliefs and expectations ratified by the text. Unlike the TROUBADOUR who composed his own works. which he disseminated through his travels. unsettling and disorienting experience of “jouissance. including “bliss” or. moving from one to the other. juvenilia Literature written in an author’s youth. as did most jigs. “He’s for a jig or a tale of bawdry. The other is the shattering. Sisson summarizes the history in “Jig” in The Reader’s Encyclopedia of Shakespeare. in a specifically sexual sense. Anne. danced. jingle A short verse usually set to music.” suggests that the humor was low-level slapstick. “orgasm. the jongleur relied on others’ compositions. Charlotte. jouissance A French word with a number of literal meanings. J. the equivalent of the English juggler.

music. in a view of sin as separation from God.C. particularly the onnagata. the most important is the Zohar (The Book of Splendor). Among the elements of the Kabbalah’s teachings were the belief in a primordial man who is both male and female. and the 14th century A. See INFLUENCE. whose comedies regularly featured the actors of the “Keystone Kops” a group of 232 . costumes. The American critic Harold Bloom has argued that the Kabbalah “revises” the Old Testament scriptures in a fashion parallel to the way a “strong poet” “revises” the poetry of his precursor. and in the attribution of special importance to certain numbers. which has existed since the 17th century. some of whom are female impersonators. The great Kabuki actors have large devoted followings.” and a ship as “horse of the sea. are more important than the play. Its lavishly designed sets.” keystone (cops) comedies The slapstick comedies produced by the Keystone Film Company from 1912 to 1917. The actors.” the sun as the “world cradle. a metaphor made up of a compound of two words. kenning In Old Germanic and Old English verse. Among the books that constitute the Kabbalah. The company’s director was Mack Sennett. or female impersonator. and story.ååå k å Kabbalah (Cabala) A set of esoteric doctrines developed within Judaism between the third century B. which became the standard phrase for a particular object. in orders of angels. the NO and BUNRAKU. and makeup all contribute to the popularity of the form. Kabuki A form of Japanese theater that employs dance. Thus the ocean was described as the “whale road. Kabuki is an actor’s theater. Harold Bloom’s thesis is presented in his Kabbalah and Criticism (1975). Long regarded as inferior to ¯ its rival forms. all men.D.

” the pseudonym used by Washington Irving for his History of New York (1809). Charlie Chaplin became a member of the company in 1913. It contains histories. set in the kitchen of a restaurant. kitchen sink dramas Term used to describe a type of English REALISTIC DRAMA in the 1950s that focused on working-class life. In Lee’s A Gesture Life (1999). whose The Martyred (1964) recounts the killing by North Korean soldiers of 12 Christian ministers. the poet William Cullen Bryant. and the playwright John Howard Payne. retired 233 . After the passing of the 1961 immigration laws. is the best-known example of the type. Knickerbocker group A term for a group of writers living in New York in the first half of the 19th century. written in three languages and mixing prose and poetry. The earlier group of immigrants included the novelist Richard Kim. by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. believed to contain the revelations of Allah to the prophet Mohammed (ninth century A.). Kim Ronyoung.” Koran The sacred text of the Islamic religion. In addition to Irving. The best-known Korean-American poet is Cathy Song. a successful. and civil laws. The name derived from “Diedrich Knickerbocker. best remembered as the composer of the song “Home Sweet Home. A most unusual novel is Dictée (1982). The daughter of Korean immigrants.KOREAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE inept policemen who always participated in wildly comic CHASE scenes. and thus the voice of Allah mediated through an angel. “war brides” or orphaned children adopted by American parents. large numbers from the general population arrived. died in an accident in 1986 after having published Clay Walls (1986). born in Korea but raised in America. adapting to life in Los Angeles in the prewar years. a novel dealing with an immigrant family’s struggle. Korean-American literature The end of the Korean conflict in 1953 brought a relatively small number of immigrants. moral instruction. See FATWA. the author was murdered. the best known members of the group were James Fenimore Cooper (while he lived in the city). whose first collection is Picture Bride (1982). An outstanding Korean-American writer is Changrae Lee.D. Shortly after the book’s publication. Arnold Wesker’s The Kitchen (1954). many of them students. His novel Native Speaker (1995) recounts the experiences of a second-generation Korean working as a spy in the Korean-American community.

” the unwilling sexual slave used to serve the Japanese army in World War II. ed.KOREAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE Japanese American discovers that his emotional life has been buried in a World War II experience involving a Korean “comfort woman. struggles with the consequences of a terrible accident to a family member. a Korean family living in Queens. In Mia Jun’s Translations of Beauty (2004). New York. Jae-Nam Han “Korean-American Literature” in New Immigrant Literatures in the United States. Alpana Sharma Knippling (1996). 234 .

including the condensation and distortion of words. lampoon A broad satirical piece that focuses on an individual. The aim is to produce an awareness of language that will create a resistance to the existing codes that pervade contemporary culture. phrases. language poets A contemporary school of American poets emphasizing a number of DEFAMILIARIZATION techniques. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. and sentences. which in turn has spawned the National Lampoon film series. langue/parole Contrasting terms employed by the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure to distinguish language as an abstract system (langue) from a particular speech or utterance (parole) in that language. the National Lampoon. purpose. Among the poets associated with this movement are Ron Silliman. the term has been associated with magazines such as the Harvard Lampoon and its offshoot. It has come to represent the importance of nature as a theme in ROMANTICISM. 235 . Thus language poets regard themselves as having a social and political. In verse form lampoons were popular in 18th-century England. George Hartley’s Textual Politics and the Language Poets (1989) places the movement in its social and political context. Saussure urged linguists to study these underlying linguistic structures. Bob Perelman. is a convenient anthology. The term was originally employed by hostile critics (including Lord Byron) to characterize the rural and “uncouth” verse of the Romantic experimenters. The L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E Book (1984). In modern times.ååå l å Lake poets A term for a group of early Romantic poets—WilliamWordsworth. and Lyn Hejinian. and Robert Southey—who lived in the Lake District of Cumbria in Northwestern England. edited by Bruce Andrews and Bob Perelman. Underlying every use of a given language is a GRAMMAR or set of rules constraining its use. as well as artistic. the langue.

Melville recounts the tragic consequences (the execution of the innocent Billy Budd) of a system of law that removes itself from all natural or spiritual feelings in favor of a strict observance of the legal code. This development is a consequence partly of the recognition of the rhetorical and narrative characteristics of legal language and partly from the fascination that legal procedures hold for many readers and writers. In Greek tragedy. these accounts of Reynard’s clever evasion of the law provide a detailed commentary on the legal systems of medieval Europe. François Rabelais maintains the satiric tradition in his Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532–64). where a judge explains how he carefully reviews every document of a case before rendering his decision by a roll of the dice. is the Renaissance text that continues to fascinate students of law and literature. application of Portia’s “quality of mercy” speech? Critics have weighed in on this issue from both sides. Among the major 19th-century treatments of the law are Charles Dickens’s Bleak House (1852) and Herman Melville’s Billy Budd (1891). All commentators agree. for example. however. German. Shakespeare’s The Merchant ofVenice. and morality—are central human concerns. the law plays a decisive role in the Oresteia of Aeschylus. so that it is not surprising to see those questions raised in the great works of literature. law Interest in the relation of law to literature has risen to such an extent that “Law and Literature” now constitutes an interdisciplinary field of its own.LATINO/LATINA LITERATURE an emphasis that proved to be profoundly influential in the development of STRUCTURALISM. armed with a knowledge of the history of English law. Questions of law—of justice. Is the treatment of Shylock in the courtroom scene of this play a consistent. Dickens depicts the interminable case of Jarndyce vs. equity. 236 . where Orestes is tried for and found innocent of matricide. More profound. Comparable legal questions are seen from a satiric perspective in the medieval beast fables centering on the trials of Reynard the Fox. Jarndyce to highlight the absurdity of the endlessly delayed procedures of the English court system of his day. Rendered in French. Ferdinand de Saussure employs the two terms in his Course in General Linguistics (1915). and more controversial. which centers on the conflict between religious and secular law. and in the Antigone of Sophocles. on the importance of equity—the application of justice in circumstances not specifically covered by the law—as a central theme in literature. In the RENAISSANCE. Latino/Latina literature See HISPANIC-AMERICAN LITERATURE. and Flemish. or an ironic.

Sir Walter Scott’s The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805). all of them centered on the theme of love. he is not guilty of a criminal act. Thus the novel’s protagonist Joseph K. Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth’s Last Days was published in 1995. The first book of the series. Since then. for example.” as well as in a deed. and. the 12 novels of the series have sold more than 50 million copies.” More recently. focusing on seven years leading up to the end of the world.“LEFT BEHIND” NOVELS Among 20th-century novelists. is arrested and executed “without having done anything wrong. “Left Behind” novels Term referring to a series of novels. In the 19th century the term was used to describe any poetic NARRATIVE. in which an individual’s GUILT could lie in an “evil intent.” lay (lai) A verse ROMANCE popular in medieval France. Camus appears to be questioning both the legal system that permitted the growth of totalitarianism. none provides a more penetrating conception and critique of the law than Franz Kafka. Kafka’s The Trial (1914) is. on the individual level. guilt as a defining characteristic of human existence (see FALL. derived from the biblical APOCALYPSE. Kafka’s conception of “universal guilt” acquires a critical significance in the work of Albert Camus. uses the narrative device of a tale told by an aging minstrel.” the secret. THE). a masterful critique of the legal system of the Austro-Hungarian empire. the practice of law and the mentality of lawyers has become a staple of popular literature. Marie’s lais are Celtic in origin. Theodore Ziolkowski’s The Mirror of Justice (1997) is an informative history of legal development and the reflection of that history in literature. the problem of “survivor guilt. its authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. As in Kafka. Robert Ferguson’s Law & Letters in American Culture (1984) examines the interaction of literature and law in 19th-century America. where 237 . and television. Richard Weisberg’s Poethics (1992) is “a guide book to Law and Literature theory and practice. a development that some critics feel has blurred the distinction between popular entertainment and the law. The series begins with an account of the “Rapture. himself a lawyer. The best known examples are the lais of Marie de France written in the late 12th century. Camus’s The Fall (1956) concerns a prominent lawyer who undergoes a moral crisis when he fails to save a drowning woman. to the detriment of the latter. J. film.” But the novel also suggests that beyond this legal condition lies the larger question of existential guilt. Simpson trial. such as the O. Writing in the wake of the atrocities of World War II. but of moral indifference. brief return of CHRIST to the Earth. Intensifying this popularity has been the practice of televising actual court cases. first.

Amy Johnson Frykholm concentrates on representative readers of the series. In literature. the term is used in similar fashion to refer to a phrase or image that suggests a particular THEME. and they become enmeshed in a chaotic world of death and destruction known as the Tribulation. whose residence on the Greek island of Lesbos gave birth to the term as well as the literary tradition. The world is now ruled by the anti-Christ. The repeated sound of a breaking string in Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard (1904) is one example. the suppression well into the 20th century of explicit lesbianism allowed only disguised forms of lesbian love to be published. Among secular observers. legend A story rooted in fact but which has been elaborated over time so that it is largely fictional. for its perceived religious distortions. the use of the music of George Gershwin on the soundtrack of Woody Allen’s Manhattan (1979) is another. leitmotif (leitmotiv) In music. capitalizing on the titillation the subject aroused. Gertrude Stein’s short story “Miss Furr and Miss Skeene” (1922).). finding not a “monolithic force” alienated from the larger secular culture but people exhibiting a range of attitudes rooted in the emotions of fear and desire. fear of being left behind as the apocalypse nears. The stories surrounding King Arthur and his court constitute a central legend of European literature. Left behind are those Christ has not chosen. The subsequent tradition of lesbian literature was dominated by the descriptions of male writers who. The astonishing popularity of these books among evangelical Christians in the United States has caused concern among nonfundamentalist Christians. particularly a Wagnerian opera. who assumes control of the world. As with the history of GAY LITERATURE.” Amy Johnson Frykholm’s analysis forms the basis of her Rapture Culture: Left Behind in Evangelical America (2004). The earliest examples of lesbian literature are the poems of Sappho (sixth century B. characterized same-sex love as perversion. See ARTHURIAN LEGEND.LEGEND he calls the faithful to their reward in heaven. lesbian literature The representation of sexual or romantic relationships between women. and the desire to belong to “a post-rapture community of believers that binds together to share their suffering.C. is an example of a lesbian story that was evident only to insiders familiar with the 238 . with its subtle play on the word gay. but his reign is overcome by the return of Christ. the series has been seen as a potent political and social weapon employed by the Christian right. In her study of the Left Behind phenomenon. a repeated musical phrase associated with a character or idea.

The private correspondence of well-known authors provides insight into their writing and their lives. which was banned in England for 20 years. a public document that articulated the medieval conception of the FOUR LEVELS OF MEANING of a text. His criticism focused not on the pragmatic. liberal/conservative imagination The Liberal Imagination (1950) is the title of an important essay and book by the distinguished critic Lionel Trilling. The best known openly lesbian novel in English was Radclyffe Hall’s TheWell of Loneliness (1928). which featured a lesbian heroine. poetry. containing his defense of PORT-ROYAL. leading to the formation of the civil rights movement for these two groups. appeared to be riding the crest of a wave. Such works were exceptions: Until very recently the majority of lesbian literature was written either in disguised terms or in a manner designed to associate lesbianism with unhappiness. Two other writers for whom lesbianism proved an important subject were Colette. Other famous public letters include Pascal’s Provincial Letters (1656–57). lesbian literature has occupied an increasingly prominent place in contemporary literature and criticism. when American liberalism. and essays by lesbian writers. For the use of letters as a device in fiction see EPISTOLARY NOVEL. issued what. in which gay men and lesbians resisted a police raid on a Greenwich Village bar. The first literary manifestation was Rita Mae Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle (1973). but it is Barnes’s Nightwood (1936) that stands for many as the finest lesbian novel in English. frustration. Since the ’70s. whose popular Claudine novels included several lesbian episodes.LIBERAL/CONSERVATIVE IMAGINATION term at the time. is an anthology of fiction. Writing in the post–World War II era. The same year saw the publication of Djuna Barnes’s Ladies Almanac. himself a liberal. The turning point in American literature occurred in 1969 with the famous Stonewall riots. buoyed with the success of the Roosevelt and Truman administrations. while at the same time providing their readers with the pleasures of eloquent prose. was a provocative dissenting opinion. Trilling. which depicted a lesbian protagonist filled with pride and the love of life. edited by Joan Nestle. and suicide. letter In the sense of a form of correspondence. and Virginia Woolf. the letter has played an impor- tant role in literary history. political agenda 239 . at the time. The Persistent Desire (1992). In poetry the equivalent text was Adrienne Rich’s Twenty-One Love Poems (1976). An early example is Dante’s letter to the Can Grande. Bonnie Zimmerman’s The Safe Sea of Women (1991) surveys recent lesbian fiction. whose Orlando (1928) was a tribute to her lover. Vita Sackville-West.

William Faulkner. the critic Virgil Nemoianu examined the question of the conservatism of major 20th-century writers. echoing T.” The works of these writers. S. are infused with a profoundly tragic sense of life. the tragic vision as opposed to the comic. which rests upon scientific progress. made clear their opposition to liberal democratic ideals. “That is not what I meant at all. relative to the primary thrust that dominates society. Nemoianu saw this development not as a rejection of liberalism. Virgil Nemoianu’s argument is contained in his A Theory of the Secondary: Literature. Progress and Reaction (1989). Kafka. Mann (in his creative work). Samuel Beckett. libretto An Italian term (meaning “little book”) for the verbal text of an OPERA or the “book” of a MUSICAL. It falls to literature not to turn back the clock of social development but to contribute to the dialectic of history. in which prominent former liberals became important elements in shaping American foreign policy in Republican administrations. . Joyce. Alfred Prufrock. Gide. checking the unimpeded force and control of the primary. in literary terms. The primary is represented by the principle of historical evolution. On the other hand. shining superficial future. with a deep skepticism of the idea of progress that propels the liberal imagination. and Andre Malraux. Evelyn Waugh. Eugene Ionesco. In one sense. W. Notable operatic librettists include Lorenzo Da Ponte. His solution was to integrate the imagination into liberal politics. However. H. In political terms. Lawrence. and three prominent leftists who later changed sides. “Proust. . Trilling’s ideas may be said to have fallen on fertile soil with the emergence of the NEOCONSERVATIVE movement. John Dos Passos. but as an illustration of what he called the “Theory of the Secondary. Eliot’s J. but on the second term of his title. the librettist of Verdi’s Otello (1887) and Falstaff (1893). imagination. who wrote the librettos for Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (1786) and Don Giovanni (1787). per se. Among those he added to Trilling’s list were Ezra Pound. Yeats. Eliot.” Some 40 years after The Liberal Imagination. and Arrigo Boito. literature’s role becomes that of the minority party. while embracing the aesthetic values of MODERNISM. Rilke. He expanded Trilling’s core of major figures who. 240 . he argued. letting some darkness into the bright. Auden. which he characterized as the deeper.” In modern culture literature and the arts play a secondary role. there are those who claim to hear Trilling from beyond the grave. broader engagement with reality to be found in the great modern writers. William Chace’s Lionel Trilling: Criticism and Politics (1980) takes a critical but balanced view of The Liberal Imagination.LIBRETTO of his fellow liberals. .

Among linguistic categories with specific relations to literature are the following: phonology The sound patterns of language. there has always been an overlapping of the two areas. The term sometimes carries with it the notion of superficiality and lack of depth. A well-known example is Oliver Wendell Holmes’s limerick on the 19thcentury clergyman Henry Ward Beecher: The Reverend HenryWard Beecher Called a hen a most eloquent creature. remains a mystery. but some light verse such as the Prologue to Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales or Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock ranks among the classics of English poetry. words. The hen. Shakespeare’s Hamlet’s “words. These studies reflect the importance of CACOPHONY. limerick A form of light verse consisting of five anapestic lines rhyming a-a-b-b-a. By the beginning of the 20th century. a linkage that survived through the Renaissance. Linguistic terms frequently are employed in analyzing a literary text from a syntactic point of 241 . syntax The word order and structures in a sentence.LINGUISTICS light verse Humorous or witty poetry that maintains a lighthearted tone. linguistics The scientific study of language.” As a consequence. Common types of light verse include LIMERICK and PARODY. EUPHONY. as well as any connection it may have with the Irish county of Limerick. and literary history. when the humorist Edward Lear included examples in his Book of Nonsense. and other sonic features of poetry. The origin of the form. linguistics had begun to develop as a separate discipline focusing on a rigorous analysis of language systems or on specific discourses. In the 19th and early 20th centuries. linguistic. The vogue for the limerick was created in 1846. Modern linguistic research has engaged in a number of experiments designed to demonstrate the relative values speakers of a language assign to certain sounds. pleased with that. at that time an umbrella term for cultural. In the classical period the study of language and literature was grouped under the heading of RHETORIC. Linguistics and literary study share a common bond. words. Laid an egg in his hat And thus did the hen reward Beecher. the study of literature was governed by PHILOLOGY. Bennett Cerf’s Out on a Limerick (1960) is a representative collection of traditional and modern limericks.

” which contains a lyric consisting entirely of the names of BASEBALL players of the 1930s and ’40s. A literal translation is one that adheres to the literal meaning—the letter. literacy See ORALITY/LITERACY. and things. Linguistics enables us to give a descriptive basis to evaluative judgments using this term. such as Cole Porter’s “Let’s Do It” and “You’re the Top” as well as Dave Frishberg’s “Van Lingle Mungo. but not necessarily the spirit—of the original. The other great 20th-century linguist. Saussure coined a number of terms that are part of the currency of critical theory: SIGNIFIER/SIGNIFIED. the literal is the first and most obvious level. and other distinctively syntactic features of this paragraph in order to describe its general effect on the reader. Whitman in turn provided a model for the BEAT poet Allen Ginsberg. DIACHRONIC/SYNCHRONIC. abstract nouns. places. subordinate clauses. also makes us conscious of such features of style as diction. the simplest meaning of a TEXT. For example. whose Howl includes a catalogue of modern alienation. Linguistics has played a key role in the development of contemporary THEORY. Lists in the form of catalogues of ships are a feature of the classical EPIC. has had less direct influence on literary study. In addition. 242 . Jonathan Culler’s “Literature and Linguistics” in Interrelations of Literature (1982). literal In criticism.LIST POEM view.” a catalogue of the now defunct movie theaters on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. LANGUE/PAROLE. in his analysis of the opening paragraph of Henry James’s The Ambassadors (1903). list poem A type of poetry made up largely of long lists of people. as when we refer to a writer having a “sense of style. style The distinctive verbal characteristics of a writer or group of writers.” STYLISTICS. The work of the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure has provided the cornerstones for STRUCTURALISM and DECONSTRUCTION. Noam Chomsky. provides a survey of the topic. edited by Barricelli and Gibaldi. Lists also form the basis of some standard popular songs. A less apocalyptic modern example is John Hollander’s “Movie Going. the formal study of style. all contributing to definitions of style as expressions of individual personalities. Ian Watt focuses on James’s use of intransitive verbs. In the medieval concep- tion of FOUR LEVELS OF MEANING. a tradition that was given a new life in the exuberant catalogues of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. Roger Fowler’s The Languages of Literature (1971) analyzes the contribution of linguistics to literary criticism. vocabulary. and syntax.

A variant of the principle of ART FOR ART’S SAKE. low mimetic. and poems. rooted in MYTH CRITICISM. plays. literature Usually understood to refer to “creative” works in the form of POETRY. More recently. literary history A term for the study of the history of literature. such as RUSSIAN FORMALISM and NEW CRITICISM. A well-known example of this view is developed by the critic Northrop Frye in his Anatomy of Criticism (1957). unworthy of inclusion within the domain of literature. describing members of the literary establishment: writers. Frye’s position. Some types of criticism. NEW HISTORICISM. it has been superseded by the New Historicist view that a literary text is inextricably interwoven with the culture in which it is produced. and DRAMA. comedy.LITERATURE literati A term. and epic as cyclical movements that pass through five phases: mythic. scholars. FICTION. It is frequently synonymous with HISTORICAL CRITICISM or with its contemporary version. biographies such as James Boswell’s Life of Johnson. As articulated by the linguist Roman Jakobson. Frye traces the “history” of the basic forms of tragedy. but only to “serious” as opposed to “popular” examples of those forms. for example the essays of Michel de Montaigne and Francis Bacon. gained considerable support in the 1950s and ’60s. and diaries such as those of Samuel Pepys and Anne Frank. critics. In recent years this sense of the term has undergone a radical redefinition. The chief source of the recent revision has been the development of POSTSTRUCTURALISM and the re-emergence of socio/political criticism. currently in the minority. histories such as Henry Adams’s Mont-SaintMichel and Chartres. this perspective argues for literature’s occupying a special realm removed from direct reference to life but illustrative of universal truths. Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Literati of New York City” (1845–46) is a series of 38 mostly satiric sketches that provide an insider’s view of literary life in New York in the 1840s. The assumption underlying this distinction is that popular literature is ephemeral entertainment. high mimetic. 243 . literary language is distinguished by its self-referential character. Literary history differs from these in that it also includes a view. lyric. have attempted to limit literature to those texts in which language is used in a unique fashion. One problem created by this sense of the term is that it excludes nonfictional works commonly regarded as part of literature. Implicit in this view as well is the notion that the term refers not merely to all novels. romantic. and ironic. that the history of literature can be treated independently of other forms of history. often employed ironically. and publishers.

sometimes identified with a specific movement or school. The Christian Mass was inherently dramatic. Redrawing the Boundaries. Political critics. An influential English little magazine was TheYellow Book (1894–97). edited by Stephen Greenblatt and Giles Gunn (1992). From their point of view. and Grand Street. explores recent developments in literary studies.LITOTES Poststructuralists argue that all language is “self-referential” and rhetorical. As a result. This criticism has been challenged directly by critics such as Harold Bloom. chiefly proponents of MARXIST CRITICISM. whose artistic designs broke new ground in art illustration. literature has come off its pedestal and entered the real world. Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon (1995) offers an alternative view. Among prominent contemporary little magazines are The Paris Review. as in “a not insignificant sum. The value of the little magazine is that it provides an outlet for fiction and poetry that is considered too AVANT-GARDE for a large audience. and Aubrey Beardsley. founded in 1912 and still in existence. The word “little” refers to the fact that such magazines usually have a very small readership. these critics deny any claim to literature’s distinctiveness on the grounds either of language or of aesthetic privilege. Henry James. The most notable exception is Poetry: A Magazine of Verse. and indirectly as well by those who maintain that what appears to be a major revolution in the definition of literature will in time prove to be a minor adjustment. designed to re-enact the sacrifice of Christ. An early American example was The DIAL. the assertion of an idea by denying its opposite. little magazine A term for a MAGAZINE that focuses on experimental literature.” which implies a large figure. litotes In RHETORIC. The earliest known example is the Quem Quaeritis (Whom do you seek?) fragment. Twentieth-century little magazines have flourished and withered with the changing of tastes. founded in 1840 as a vehicle for the ideas associated with TRANSCENDENTALISM. An ironic figure of speech. liturgical drama A medieval proto-dramatic form. Sewanee Review. litotes achieves its effect by appearing to understate the case. which proclaimed the principles of AESTHETICISM and included among its contributors Oscar Wilde. maintain that literature is only one among many other social practices with no claim to a special exalted status removed from the social and economic forces that govern society. Among its earliest editors were Margaret Fuller and Ralph Waldo Emerson. By the 10th century certain “scenes” were being presented as part of the Mass. an addition to the Easter Sunday Mass that contains sung dialogue between monks represent244 .

contains representative selections of his work. results in the preference given to speech over writing. the belief in an ultimate referral point outside of language that forms the basis of Western thought. See WRITING. who coined the term. Derrida derives his term from logos. B. although still performed in churches or monasteries. One of the best known examples was the Presentation of theVirgin in the Temple. As critiqued by Jacques Derrida.” Logos is also the term used at the opening of the Gospel of John to describe Jesus Christ (“In the beginning was the Word”). This speech-centered approach to language creates a bias in favor of presence. where a local mechanic skillfully repaired the vehicle. one that is virtually synonymous with it. the object to which they refer. Another important aspect of logocentrism. the speaker is present. This assumption. The term derives from an anecdote that Gertrude Stein related to Ernest Hemingway. the desire to guarantee the authority of language by rooting it in the presence of a transcendent authority. France. For Derrida this identification of “Word” and “God” in one of the central texts of Western history is a stunning example of logocentrism.” that is. Hardison’s Christian Rite and Christian Ritual (1965) offers an original. logocentrism lies at the root of the assumption that words “present” (in the sense of “make present”) to the listener their referent. a Greek word that means both “word” and “logic” or “reason. O. She stopped at a small village. is “phonocentrism. since in speech. and in assigning meaning to the intention of the speaker. she had had trouble with her car. also characterized by Derrida as the METAPHYSICS OF PRESENCE. A Derrida Reader (1990). convincing treatment of the subject. while writing occurs precisely because the writer is absent. the preference for speech over writing as the basis of linguistic analysis. logocentrism In the principles of DECONSTRUCTION. Until recently it was thought that medieval MYSTERY PLAYS evolved from liturgical drama. Gradually these enactments were separated from the mass itself. but recent evidence has shown that the two were coexistent. lost generation A term used to describe a group of young American writers of the 1920s who experienced ALIENATION and the loss of ideals resulting from World War I and its aftermath.LOST GENERATION ing the women who have come to CHRIST’s tomb and the angels who announce the Resurrection. edited by Peggy Kamuf. When she 245 . performed at the cathedral in Avignon. While traveling in the French countryside after the end of World War I.

LOVE reported her satisfaction to the owner of the shop. love In literature a term of such surpassing significance and varied meanings that no summary could do it justice. a code of behavior that transformed sexual desire into a noble. One approach to the topic is to distinguish among the Greek terms agape. Within the category of divine love lies much of Western mystical and religious writing. There are at least three slightly different versions of Stein’s story. from love between and within the sexes to the love of parent and child. individual and nation. “une genération perdu. in which the union of the soul with God. of king and subject. forms the heart of literature. but through love all the intercourse of God with man is carried on. In the Western tradition a key development occurred in 12th-century France with the emergence of COURTLY LOVE. human (eros and philia) and divine (agape).” But it is in the domain of human love—philia (friendship) and eros (sexual love)—that the vast majority of the world’s literature falls. In the Romantic tradition. For example. and provided the thematic foundation of the medieval ROMANCE and the SONNET. The courtly love tradition elevated the significance of love to the status of a religion. the source of feelings that reach an unparalleled depth and intensity.” Stein’s conclusion. Love purifies (in William Blake’s poetry even deifies) the lover. enabling the move toward a basic unity of self and other. Love of every type. which contains a detailed account of the anecdote. love is the third most commonly used noun in the works of Shakespeare. love is the highest expression of spiritual longings. a concept that was intensified in 19th-century ROMANTICISM. He was not like the war veterans. “You are all a lost generation” became the epigraph to Hemingway’s novel The Sun Also Rises (1926). The key to this notion is the idea of love as a function of “sympathetic imagination. eros. These three forms of love divide into two categories. As Plato expresses it in his Symposium: “God mingles not with man. The above account is derived from James Mellow’s Charmed Circle: Gertrude Stein and Company (2003). and philia. who had been too young to have served in the war. he explained that he had trained the mechanic. famously represented in the conclusion to Dante’s Divine Comedy. This tradition represented the first example in Western literature of romantic love. The distinction between the older religious view and the Romantic view has been summarized by the 246 .” the capacity to enter into another’s feelings. is the manifestation of God’s love. As a result. they were untrainable. unrequited passion. The one recalled by Hemingway in his memoir A Moveable Feast (1964) is designed to reflect badly on Stein and may not be reliable. which recounts the disillusionment of a group of young people in the wake of the war. love is a path that leads to fundamental truths of reality.

intelligent people. centered on marriage as a contract motivated by love (and threatened by ADULTERY). slyly hinting at economic ones. helped to create a new ideal. “Men have died from time to time. “the literary ideal of romantic marriage” also produced an anti-romantic reaction. an early feminist. as Joseph Boone has argued in Tradition Counter Tradition (1987). and worms have eaten them. in a number of Spencer Tracy/Katharine Hepburn films. see MIMETIC DESIRE. in his comic mode Shakespeare was capable of satirizing it: witness Rosalind’s remark in AsYou Like It. Sir Peter and Lady Teazle in Richard Sheridan’s The School for Scandal (1777) and. a sensitive and perceptive study of the couple in Western literature. This pervasiveness is tellingly represented in Jean Hagstrum’s Esteem Enlivened by Desire (1992). a motif central to romantic tragedies such as Romeo and Juliet. in which the wife is frequently the prisoner of the love-marriage convention and of her own internalization of that convention. in all its forms. as in Jane Austen. rooted in infancy and the desire for the mother. romantic love has been seriously challenged by the Freudian theory that sexuality is a feature of all forms of love. 1987) and Love Declared (1964) offer a social history of love growing out of the courtly love tradition. Irving 247 . love is God. One source of its appeal is that Titanic exemplifies the liebestod tradition.” Shakespeare also introduced another comic perspective on love. reflected in the writings of Kate Chopin. Freud focuses less on the emotion of love and more on the “drive” that he calls the “libido” and modern psychoanalytical critics term “desire. to the extent of defining. The “love marriage” came to be seen as the only suitable form. exemplified by Queen Victoria in her devotion to her husband. 1984. God is love. more recently. witty. but not for love.LOVE philosopher Irving Singer: “For Medieval Christianity. One example of the continuing appeal of romantic love is the worldwide success of the film Titanic (1997). Chopin. depicts in her stories and novels a more realistic portrait of marriage. such as Vivian Gornick.” Some critics. while. the full emergence of capitalism.” A concurrent 19th-century development. for Romantic ideology. such as Adam’s Rib (1949). continues to dominate. argue that love is no longer viable as a literary theme. Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (1598) gave birth to a long line of battling lovers that has included Millamant and Mirabell in William Congreve’s The Way of the World (1700). Nevertheless love. Nevertheless. literature and life. the association of love and DEATH. Prince Albert. In the 20th century. the view of it as a “merry war” between two proud. For yet another view of love. which had the effect of suppressing sexual motives. Denis de Rougemont’s Love in the Western World (1966. While elevating liebestod in his tragedies (Antony and Cleopatra is another example).

In its original form. As the term evolved. lyric A type of poetry in which the “voice” of the poem (not necessarily that of the poet) records a specific feeling or attitude.LYRIC Singer’s The Nature of Love (3 vols. however. ELEGY. 1987) is a comprehensive treatment of the subject from the perspective of literature and philosophy. 1984. Vivian Gornick develops her thesis in The End of the Novel of Love (1997). ODE. 248 . and ECLOGUE. it came to embrace a wide range of different poetic forms including the SONNET. the lyric was designed for musical accompaniment.. 1966.

Part Three. term to describe people suffering from serious 249 . In Henry VI. Eliot. The name derives from Niccolò Machiavelli (1469–1527). Machiavelli hoped to bring the principles of historical objectivity and pragmatic realism to his treatment of the nature of politics. was regarded as ruthless and immoral. for example.” Other of Shakespeare’s Machiavellian villains include Iago in Othello and Edmund in King Lear. Shakespeare has the villainous Gloucester (later to be crowned Richard III) assert that he will “set the murderous Machiavel to school. as in the poems of Ezra Pound and T. madness Despite ongoing debates over its proper definition. Machiavel An ELIZABETHAN term for a cunning. madness serves as a useful. a dying man’s secret message in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1935) and stolen money in Psycho (1960). Pound inserts several phrases in Greek and one prose passage in French. deceitful villain. both of whom share their villainy in direct addresses to the audience. In his poem “Mauberley. an analysis of political power.ååå m å macaronic verse A type of poetry in which two or more languages or dialects are mixed for comic or satiric effect.” for example. Hitchcock employed a number of macguffins in his films. His conception of the political sphere as an amoral realm created a popular view that he was the embodiment of evil. macguffin A term coined by the film director Alfred Hitchcock to describe a PLOT device that helps to initiate the action of a film. S. but subsequently proves to be of no importance. the Italian political philosopher whose The Prince (1513). Macaronic verse (from the Italian word for macaroni) originated in the MIDDLE AGES and achieved wide popularity in the RENAISSANCE. The mingling of two languages—particularly the insertion of a line from another poet—is a common feature of modernist poetry. if highly generalized. As a consequence Machiavelli’s name became synonymous with diabolical political intrigue.

feeling over rationality. to the mad god Dionysus. . and Ezra Pound. As a theme in literature. although he reminds us that the visions of the madman. . Moulton. a deranged beggar and former inmate of the famous asylum. naked Tom and asks him.” The other great RENAISSANCE representation of madness is Miguel Cervantes’s Don Quixote (1605. . the lover. memorably represented in Euripides’ Bacchae (407 b. the lover and the poet” reflects an extension of this notion.G. and as a theme in literature. allows for a powerful counterpoint to Lear’s genuine madness. the god of irrational behavior (See APOLLONIAN/DIONYSIAN). who induces in his followers orgiastic frenzies. the centerpiece of the play is occupied with the contact of two madnesses . that of Lear. madness appears in two forms: as a characteristic associated with poets and creative writers. “. his “antic disposition.c. in the Romantic era. to the prophetic madness of Cassandra. The view of madness as a feature of the poetic personality dates to classical times and the association of poetry with Dionysus. exponent of the THEATER OF CRUELTY. “Has thou given all to thy two daughters?/And art thou come to this?” In the words of the critic R. was declared insane by a panel of doctors and committed to a hospital for the criminally insane for nearly 13 years. Edgar’s assumption of the role of Tom O’Bedlam. gathering up into a climax trains of passion from all three tragedies of the main plot and that of Edgar. who. Shakespeare’s grouping of “the lunatic. after collaborating with Italian Fascists during World War II. 1615). Hamlet’s feigned madness. That he succeeds in getting under Claudius’s skin is evident in the latter’s remark. Celebrating instinct over intellect.MADNESS mental disorders. Celebrated 20th-century examples of the “mad poet” include Antonin Artaud. Lear encounters poor. in which madness becomes a privileged condition. According to Friedrich 250 .) While depicting madness with great skill. holding a similar position to the three tragedies of the underplot. pursued by the Furies for the crime of matricide. The climax of the play occurs in the “duet of madness” in act three. madness takes on a variety of forms. The author’s sympathy for his mad hero does not lead him to elevate madness into an exalted state. Shakespeare also introduced the idea of pretended madness.” In King Lear. In relation to literature. Romantic writers in Germany and England strove for an ideal loss of the self. . notably in Hamlet and King Lear.” enables him to verbally attack his enemy Claudius with riddles and double entendres. whose prophecies are never believed. Taking refuge in a home on the storm-tossed heath. and the poet often yield “something of great constancy” that lie beyond the grasp of “cool reason. Greek mythology alone exhibits the full range from the haunted madness of Orestes.” (See IMAGINATION/FANCY). That conception would emerge later. scene four. “like the hectic in my blood he rages.

in which the anarchic hero McMurphy challenges the deadly oppressive force of the institution. Adolf Hitler. tells the story of Japanese soldiers reduced to cannibalism. In the 19th century a number of major novels originally appeared in 251 . which as reinterpreted by Northrop Frye and other critics. both tragic and comic art was rooted in “Dionysian madness. magazine A periodical containing articles. but later students of Blake’s poetry and art have come to see them as visionary and prophetic. Similarly. Lillian Feder’s Madness in Literature (1980) offers a comprehensive cultural history of the subject. Dionysus in Literature (1994) is a wide-ranging collection of essays on the topic. general magazines have also played a role in literary history. the narrator Oskar Matzerath records the story of Germany’s lapse into madness from the safety of a mental hospital. usually for several voices. offered some writers the opportunity to depict the world as a madhouse whose only retreat was an asylum. was very popular in ELIZABETHAN England.” the Greek festival whose participants strove to achieve ecstasy. The form. World War II. John Morley. madrigal A lyric poem set to MUSIC. stories. An Apollonian artist who succumbs to madness. embodied in the figure of Big Nurse. a mental patient and the NARRATOR of Shohei Ooka’s Fires on the Plain (1953). poems. whose central figure. also composed the music for “It was a lover and his lass. and Milos Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1976). a journal that emphasizes criticism and literature. Thus in Günter Grass’s The Tin Drum (1959). a parable contrasting the insanity of war with the benign hallucinations of madness. which explores the treatment of patients in large state-run mental hospitals. was a madman. Aschenbach dies a victim of his long battle against his own instincts. Phillipe De Broca’s King of Hearts (1966). which originated in 14th-century Italy. based on Ken Kesey’s novel.” a song from Shakespeare’s AsYou Like It. reveals a remarkably comprehensive and coherent poetic vision. Probably the greatest poet of the period associated with madness was William Blake. The critic Lillian Feder traces the Apollonian/Dionysian conflict in the figure of Gustave Von Aschenbach in Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice (1912). Three films that engage the subject from perspectives that reflect the periods in which they were made are Anotle Litvak’s The Snake Pit (1948). Joseph Heller’s novel Catch 22 (1961). In addition to the LITTLE MAGAZINE. Tamura. which finally erupt in revolt against him. Finally and famously. exemplified the absurdity and madness of war. One of the foremost Elizabethan composers of madrigals. His contemporaries frequently used the term in describing his work. and various other features.MAGAZINE Nietzsche.

includes a chapter on magic realism. Mark Twain. a magazine owned and edited by Dickens. for example. 1988). is a collection of essays dealing with the history and theory of the device. comedy. and history. malapropism An unconscious PUN. and Julio Cortazar. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Other sources of magic realism are the stories of Jorge Luis Borges. evident earlier in the stories of Bernard Malamud and in John Cheever’s short story “The Enormous Radio. Donald Barthelme (The Dead Father. Mario Vargas Llosa. the most notable are The NewYorker and Esquire. The technique is artfully represented in European literature by Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984). Malaprop. a character in Richard 252 . Several 19th-century American magazines originally owned and produced by book publishers—Harper’s. Putnam’s. 1987). magic realism. The Moonstone first appeared in All the Year Round. These journals featured contributions from such notable writers as Henry David Thoreau. Post Modern Fiction: A Bio-Bibliographical Guide (1986).” has become a prominent feature in contemporary works by Toni Morrison (Beloved. In American literature. Latin American writers later employed the term to characterize the “marvelous real. which influenced the STRUCTURE of those novels. The term derives from Mrs. The appeal of magic realism lies in its effective resolution of the tension between REALISM and experimentation. 1975). edited by Lois Zamora and Wendy Faris.MAGIC REALISM magazines in serialized form. See ZINES. The term was originally used in the 1920s in art circles in Europe and America to describe a kind of realist painting less interested in representing the art object than in capturing its aura. and The Atlantic Monthly— included distinguished literary sections. Included among those were Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities (1859) and Great Expectations (1860–61). overcoming the limitations of the former while providing an anchor for the latter. and Henry James. the misuse of a word sounding like the appropriate word. Scribner’s. edited by Larry McCaffrey. magic realism A term referring to fiction that integrates realistic elements with supernatural or fantastic experiences.” seeing everyday life as if for the first time. myth. Among 20th-century American magazines that have consistently published good FICTION and POETRY. rendered in lush. and Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White (1859–60) and The Moonstone (1868). poetic language. Herman Melville. Magical Realism (1995). in the paintings of Henri Rousseau. an extraordinary blend of realism. as. 1982) and William Kennedy (Quinn’s Book. The most celebrated example of magic realism is Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude (1971). Alice Walker (The Color Purple.

and AESTHETICISM. the controversy became even more intense and scurrilous until the Marprelate printers were arrested. fleering. Marprelate controversy In ELIZABETHAN England. the SENTIMENTAL NOVEL. “His importance as a controversial theologian is small. See GONGORISM. 253 . manifesto In literary politics. S. often scurrilous style. and PROJECTIVISM (1950). SURREALISM (1924). ornate descriptions laden with lush metaphors. IMAGISM (1915). S.” Notable modern malapropists include Samuel Goldwyn (“in two words. In art history it refers to a late 16th-century style of painting that relied on distortion of scale and perspective. Lewis says of Martin Marprelate. The Anglican bishops hired a number of professional writers to answer the pamphlets. Twentieth-century examples include the manifestoes of FUTURISM (1909). cockney manner of the controversy. the writer C. the bumbling constable in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.’ comments appear in his English Literature in the 16th Century (1954).” C.MARPRELATE CONTROVERSY Brinsley Sheridan’s comedy The Rivals (1775). such as Thomas Nashe and Robert Greene entering the fray. if somewhat excessive. impossible”) and television’s Archie Bunker (“imported Ricans”). His real place is in the history of prose. a lively religious contro- versy. a statement by a group of writers or critics announcing their theoretical position. When the manuscript is written in the AUTHOR’s hand it is said to be a holograph. example of the BAROQUE style. the pamphlets were applauded by the growing number of Puritans in London while being condemned by the authorities at Court. marinism An elaborate poetic style developed by the Italian poet Gianbattista Marino (1569–1625). mannerism In its general literary sense. In the MIDDLE AGES. which were written in a lively.” exhibiting an initial letter or a page with a colorful design. Its literary sense has been applied to such stylistic experiments as EUPHUISM. many manuscripts were “illuminated. Marinism is a striking. manuscript A written or typed copy of a text as opposed to a published ver- sion. With notably witty writers. Marino specialized in love poems that featured highly sensuous. Referring to the racy. sparked by a series of pamphlets written in 1588–89 by the pseudonymous “Martin Marprelate.” In attacking the episcopal structure of the Church of England. An even earlier malapropist is Dogberry. who insists that “comparisons are odorous. a term for an eccentric self-conscious style. Lewis.

In the 1930s and ’40s. The literary text in its superficially unified state functions as an agent of ideology. The advent of STRUCTURALISM in the 1960s had a strong impact on Marxist criticism. including the totalitarian system of capitalism. and IDEOLOGY. By depicting alienation and despair as the modern social reality. the FRANKFURT SCHOOL repudiated the reduction of Marxist criticism to socialist realism. literature must be understood in relation to the determining forces of society: history. decentered core it subverts that ideology. One formulation of the pro-revolutionary role is the doctrine of SOCIALIST REALISM. although many contemporary Marxist critics have abandoned this second position. Friedrich Engels. the church and the agencies of the state) that create an individual’s self-definition. the school. In The Political 254 . seemingly apolitical writers. its theoretical position received some validation in Bertolt Brecht’s EPIC THEATER and his concept of the ALIENATION EFFECT. An early example of the fusion of Marxism and structuralism is the work of the French theorist Louis Althusser. which argues that the flaw in the structuralist model lies in its ahistorical analysis of social reality. and their successors to the study of literature. and to prescribe a type of literature that will serve the interests of a Marxist revolution. For the English Marxist Terry Eagleton. the task of criticism is to delve beneath the apparent consistency of a literary text to uncover its internal dissonances and contradictions. whose concept of “ideological state apparatuses” argues that IDEOLOGY is not merely a set of ideas but a system of social practices (embracing the family. such as Samuel Beckett. Although under Stalin socialist realism became a form of thought control. these Marxist critics saw the AVANT-GARDE as the enemy of totalitarianism. The Marxist critic thus serves two functions: to expose the underlying connection of literature and society. economics. thereby revealing its open-minded. Although literature is included as one of these “apparatuses.MARXIST CRITICISM Marxist criticism The application of the theories of Karl Marx.” certain works stand apart. The structuralist influence on Marxist thought is checked in Fredric Jameson’s The Prison House of Language (1982). Structuralists and Marxists share the belief that the idea of the free individual is a myth disguising the systems that govern individual thought and behavior. class. which became the official state-sponsored critical orthodoxy in the Soviet Union. providing the reader with a glimpse into the working of ideology. For the Marxist critic. revealed the void that lies at the heart of modern capitalist culture. At its fractured. as well as in the critical analysis of the 19th-century novel developed by the Hungarian critic Georg Lukacs. Defending in particular modernist and experimental art forms (condemned as decadent by both Communist and Nazi regimes). deconstructed character.

” in which professional performers would enact scenes of disorder and ribaldry. Jameson’s eclectic approach has become a marked feature of Marxist criticism as it joins with various other schools (CULTURAL STUDIES. medieval drama A general term used to describe the various dramatic forms of theatrical presentation in the MIDDLE AGES. the court architect who created scenic spectacles that served as the settings for the dramatic action. The structure of the masque centered on the dancing of a group of elaborately costumed members of the aristocracy whose movements. and MUSIC. masque In the RENAISSANCE. and LITURGICAL DRAMA. The greatest of the masques were those produced by the collaboration of the playwright Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones.” The central texts of contemporary Marxist criticism include George Lukacs’s The Historical Novel (1963). MORALITY PLAY. MYSTERY PLAY. playwrights were commissioned to write masques for the royal court to mark ceremonial occasions. enacted the “plot. such as the visit of a foreign dignitary or the wedding of a member of the court. At the conclusion of the entertainment the audience would be invited to join in the dance. Among the products of their collaboration were Hue and Cry After Cupid (1608) and The Masque of Queens (1609). including the MIRACLE PLAY. Although employed in Italy and France. POETRY. John Milton’s Comus (1634) is a famous example of the form. FEMINIST CRITICISM. These performers would then be banished by a verse announcing the arrival of the masquers. In those years. PSYCHOANALYTICAL CRITICISM. Terry Eagleton’s Marxism and Literary Criticism (1976). an elaborate entertainment that combined DRAMA.” Inigo Jones:The Theatre of the Stuart Court (1973). and Literary Theory (1983).MEDIEVAL DRAMA Unconscious (1981). is a scholarly edition of the masques that emphasizes Jones’s contributions. Jameson incorporates a range of poststructuralist and traditional critical approaches within an overarching Marxist framework.” Their appearance was preceded by an “antimasque. and Fredric Jameson’s Marxism and Form (1971) and The Political Unconscious (1981). 255 . POSTSTRUCTURALISM) in a general critique of the status quo that Eagleton describes as “political criticism. Louis Althusser’s “Ideological State Apparatuses” in his Lenin and Philosophy (1971). Shakespeare’s Cymbeline and The Winter’s Tale include brief masques while the The Tempest contains a masque followed by Prospero’s famous speech that begins “Our revels now are ended. SAINT PLAY. interspersed with poetry and song. the masque achieved its most elaborate development in England during the JACOBEAN and CAROLINE periods. edited by Stephen Orgel and Roy Strong.

the degree to which her early life typified the upbringing of a young girl in her time. he suggests.MEDIEVAL ROMANCE O. The effect is to reinforce the 1960’s argument of Marshall McLuhan that the media is the message. focusing on the ARTHURIAN LEGEND and the conventions of COURTLY LOVE. In some cases. the “alphabetical God” is becoming obsolete. to be replaced by a new form of spirituality. Hardison’s Christian Rite and Christian Ritual (1965) details the relationship among the various types of medieval drama. More usually. the invention of the wheel and. With the coming of the digital age. between an idea and its transmission. the memoirs of Dean Acheson. alphabetical writing. the form serves as a vehicle for a personal account of specific public events. melodrama A type of DRAMA that highlights suspense and romantic sentiment. . According to Debray. with characters who are usually either clearly good or bad. the public “event” is the representative character of the life—in de Beauvoir’s case. mediology A term coined by the French theorist Régis Debray to describe the study of the interplay between culture and technology. as in Simone de Beauvoir’s Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter (1958). memoir A form of AUTOBIOGRAPHY that subordinates the AUTHOR’s personal life to the public events in which he or she has participated. Its appeal continues today in many films and television plays. In God: An Itinerary (2004). . Ben Jonson and Francis Beaumont. a man had meant to put his whole wit in a jest/ and had resolved to live a fool/ the rest of his life. As its name implies. most important. Mermaid Tavern The 17th-century London Tavern frequented by actors and playwrights. Beaumont left a memorable description of the witty exchanges that took place there. the God of Abraham and his later transformation into the figure of the son of God are inextricably interwoven with the development of writing as a tool for persuasion and conversion. the form frequently uses a musical background to underscore or heighten the emotional tone of a scene. as though “. the secretary of state during the establishment of the United Nations and the conduct of the Korean War.” 256 . An example is Present at the Creation (1978). medieval romance A type of story popular in Europe from the 12th century to the RENAISSANCE. B. Melodrama first achieved great popularity on the 19th-century stage. See also GODS. Debray develops his argument that the Judeo-Christian God’s appearance in history is the consequence of two critical technological advances. including Shakespeare.

but that comparison is not stated directly.” the implied equation is: “fog”=“cat. METONYMY. metaphor has only recently come to be seen as a pervasive presence in all forms of language. when we speak of someone having “the luck of the draw. See METAPHOR/METONYMY. “The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window panes.” What the metaphor creates is the sense of “You” as a unique source of continual pleasure.” we are comparing an element of life to a card game. Thus. and A. Metaphors are characterized as either direct or indirect. In the line from T. forms of metafiction appear in Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire (1962).) An indirect metaphor is one in which the comparison is implied but not stated directly. metaphor/metonymy In traditional usage. Patricia Waugh’s Metafiction: The Theory and Practice of Self-Conscious Fiction (1984) focuses on recent examples of the form. such as SIMILE. “You’re the cream in my coffee” is a direct metaphor. The classic example is Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy (1759–67). A prominent feature of POSTMODERNISM. The primary subject (the “tenor”) is “You” and the secondary subject (the “vehicle”) is “cream in my coffee. John Barth’s Lost in the Funhouse (1968).” for example. On Metaphor (1979). S. This is the sense of the term employed when we speak of language as either literal or metaphorical. S. Byatt’s Possession (1989). edited by Sheldon Sacks. phrases whose original. the idea of a transient illusion or unreality traditionally associated with dreams is carried over to the subject “life.” Or. (In its use of an unusual vehicle to express romantic love. is a collection of essays on the various aspects of the modern sense of the term. metaphorical character has been blunted by everyday use. Donald Barthelme’s SnowWhite (1973).METAPHOR/METONYMY metafiction Fiction that calls attention to its own fictionality. METAPHOR is based upon the principle of similarity. this popular song of the 1920s resembles the characteristic lyrics of metaphysical poetry. although always perceived to be a central element of poetry. in which the narrator berates his reader at one point for failing to pick up on a clue that he had planted in a previous chapter. and METONYMY on the principle of association. This last example illustrates that language is riddled with dead metaphors. Thus 257 . Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. metaphor In its narrow sense.” In its broader sense. Alfred Prufrock” (1915). the term serves as a general category for all figures of speech. and SYNECDOCHE. Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler (1979). a figure of speech in which something (A) is identified with something else (B) in order to attribute to A a quality associated with B. In the phrase “Life is but a dream.

is a purely linguistic process. See PARADIGM. like Romanticism. as in this opening line from a poem by John Donne: “For God’s sake. Later in the century. He maintained that using language involves two procedures. as in Donne’s “The Canonization” in which two lovers are treated as saints. romantic love and religious faith. while metaphor. is “referential. interesting application of Jakobson’s ideas. Eliot’s praise. Richard Crashaw. who proclaimed these poets’ capacity to integrate such seeming opposites as sexual love and science.” Donne was the first and preeminent metaphysical poet.” keyed to the extra-linguistic world. colloquial style. the metaphysicals fell out of fashion and remained so until the beginning of the 20th century. sometimes treating the one in terms of the other. The distinctive feature of this poetry is its WIT. like realism. along with its compatibility with the principles of NEW CRITICISM. Later followers included George Herbert. He saw in them examples of the unified sensibility sorely lacking in later literature (see DISSOCIATION OF SENSIBILITY). David Lodge’s The Mode of Modern Writing (1979) provides a detailed. One way of interpreting this distinction is to assert that metonymy. Jakobson further maintained that literary movements could be classified on the basis of their being primarily metaphorical or metonymical. Henry Vaughan. a drama about 258 . Thus Romanticism is based on metaphor and realism on metonymy. and Thomas Traherne. We select words from our vocabulary and rearrange them in phrases and sentences. hold your tongue and let me love. One recent critique forms the basis of Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Wit (1998). ingenious metaphors drawn from widely disparate areas of life.METAPHYSICAL POETRY the metaphor “sleep” for “death” is based upon a certain similarity between the two states. The metaphysicals primarily focused on two subjects. Abraham Cowley. an intellectually challenging mode of argument reminiscent of the fine distinctions of scholastic philosophy. selection and arrangement. Among their most important modern supporters was T. and a forceful. while the metonymy “White House” for “President” is based upon a recognized convention connecting the two terms. in the 17thcentury sense of the term: the balancing of strong feeling and intellectual play. Eliot. Andrew Marvell. Jakobson argued that these two processes are controlled by specific brain functions and that metaphor is identified with the process of selection and metonymy with arrangement. In 1956 the linguist Roman Jakobson used the two terms to describe two fundamental features of language. S. metaphysical poetry A type of 17th-century English poetry characterized by witty. sparked an enthusiasm for metaphysical poetry in the 1940s and ’50s that now appears to have been an overestimation.

The belief in truth as an absolute principle is an example of logocentric thinking.METER an English professor dying of cancer after having devoted her life to the poetry of Donne. In Woody Allen’s film The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985). that is. she discovers that. T. the argument that Western thought rests upon the assumption of a presence or center existing outside of language that is always a “given” and therefore unexamined. metatheatre A term coined by the critic Lionel Abel to describe a dramatic form that focuses on the “dramatic consciousness” of its characters—the consciousness. The pat- tern is created by the repetition of a certain number of accented or stressed syllables together with a number of unaccented or unstressed syllables. the regular recurrence of a rhythmic sound pattern. S. Abel argues that metatheatre represents a modern alternative to TRAGEDY. as in this line from Alexander Pope: ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ To wake the soul by tender strokes of˘ art. In scanning a line of poetry it is conventional to mark the accented syllables with a slanted dash (/) and the unaccented with a breve ( ˘ ). the metaphysics of presence functions as LOGOCENTRISM. in modern drama. In this respect. the earliest example of the form is Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “For the first time in the history of drama the problem of the protagonist is that he has a playwright’s consciousness. Joan Bennett’s Five Metaphysical Poets (1963) is a perceptive study. of being characters in a play. a character in a film. 259 . and Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1967). metatheatre bears a resemblance to Bertolt Brecht’s ALIENATION EFFECT. metaphysics of presence In DECONSTRUCTION. They usually demonstrate this awareness by stepping out of their characters to speak directly to the audience. Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author (1921). Eliot’s influential essay “The Metaphysical Poets” appears in his Selected Essays (1932). In the sphere of language. is “wit” the supreme value she had assumed it to be. Confronting death. Lionel Abel’s Metatheatre (1963) contains a full account of the term. neither in poetry nor in life. steps out of the screen and asks to experience real life. tired of repeating the same lines.” Other examples are Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s Life Is a Dream (1635) and. meter In POETRY. as a form of serious drama that offers the audience the opportunity to reflect on the action from an aesthetic distance. Jean Genet’s The Balcony (1956). For Abel.

lines are divided into a number of individual units. dactylic One accented syllable followed by two unaccented syllables: ‚ ˘˘ ‚ ˘˘ ‚ Hickory dickory dock. which includes a particular combination of accented and unaccented syllables.METER This process of marking lines of verse is called SCANSION. In English verse. A line of verse is also characterized by the number of feet it contains. each one featuring an unaccented syllable followed by an accented one. anapestic Two unaccented syllables followed by one accented. Good Queen. The terms for poetic feet are the following: One foot Two feet Three feet Four feet Five feet Six feet Seven feet MONOMETER DIMETER TRIMETER TETRAMETER PENTAMETER HEXAMETER HEPTAMETER Thus. H.When we scan an entire poem. we can determine its prevailing meter as well as its rhyme scheme. my Lord. as in this line from W. a poetic line in which an accented syllable is followed by an unaccented syllable four times is in trochaic tetrameter. In other languages. A line of poetry in English is characterized by the pattern of accent and by the number of feet. The most common types of poetic feet are the following: iambic One unaccented syllable followed by an accented syllable. Auden: 260 . each one known as a FOOT. poetry is only quantitative. In this sense an English verse line is both accentual and quantitative. spondaic Two stressed and no unstressed syllables. as in this line from Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale: ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ Good Queen. as in this concluding line describing limericks: ˘ ˘ ‚ ˘ ˘ ‚ ˘ ˘ ‚ ˘˘ And the clean ones are seldom so comical. Greek and Latin for example. Pope’s line (above) has five feet. I say. Anapests are a feature of the LIMERICK. trochaic One accented syllable followed by an unaccented one: ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ Life is but an empty dream. as in the line quoted above.

A line in which one accented syllable is followed by two unaccented syllables three times is in dactylic trimeter: ‚ ˘ ˘ ‚ ‚ ˘ ˘ ‚ ˘ ˘ Half a league. It is important to remember that poets generally vary their meter both within a poem and even within a line. Strasberg developed a number of exercises to help the actor find within her own experience a connection with the motivation of the character she was portraying. Specifically the term refers to the adaptation of Stanislavski developed by Lee Strasberg while teaching at the Actors’ Studio in New York from 1947 to 1956.METHOD ACTING ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ Earth receive an honored guest. The essence of the Method is to have the actor discover a psychological motivation for the character he is playing. In his adaptation of Stanislavski. The best-known meter in English verse is iambic pentameter. in which the techniques were particularly effective. the meter of Shakespeare’s plays and John Milton’s Paradise Lost. such as classical or Shakespearean drama. Critics have charged that the Method works less well in nonrealist forms. through 261 . In so doing the Method emphasizes not the effect the actor creates but instead the cause of that effect. half a league onwards. Method acting Term for a type of acting (also known as the Stanislavski Method) derived from the teachings of Konstantin Stanislavski (1863–1938). half a˘ league. Thus in Cole Porter’s lyric. Paul Fussell’s Poetic Meter and Poetic Form (1965) offers an excellent guide to metrical forms. ‚ ˘ ‚˘‚ ˘ ‚ ‚ ‚ Even educated fleas do it. the trochaic pattern of the line is altered at the end by a spondaic foot. inaudible style of speech. either directly or indirectly. Method acting consists of a series of exercises designed to help actors empathize with the characters they play. Poetry without a fixed meter is characterized as FREE VERSE. a Russian director and acting teacher. the Method has now been accepted as a valid approach to modern acting and has continued to exert a powerful influence. Unrhymed iambic pentameter is also known as BLANK VERSE. Denounced in its time as the source of a mumbling. The Method was introduced and adapted during the heyday of dramatic REALISM. Supporters of the Method maintain that the technique relates to every type of acting.

the best known of whom are Julie Harris. SYNECDOCHE.S. Geraldine Page. FEUDALISM. SCHOLASTICISM. everything that exists is an integrated part of a grand and beautiful design. In the medieval view. The most typical vice is “dullness. a disparaging term reflecting its lack of distinction in literature and the arts. Robert Lewis’s Method and Madness (1958) offers a detailed rationale of the Method by one of the founders of the Actors Studio. the most typical virtue derives from the same sense of security. the SONNET. is the period of Gothic architecture. James Dean. Montgomery Clift. Metonymy can take a number of forms. or an article of dress with a person (“hard hat” for a construction worker).METONYMY the performances of its many gifted students. The first half of this period (from the fifth to the 10th centuries) is sometimes known as the Dark Ages. the modern reader needs to recognize the reason for. as Lewis explains it.” On the other hand. the story seems to be telling itself. Basic to the understanding and appreciation of medieval literature is an awareness of the model of the universe that it embraces. As a result. such as identifying the container with the thing contained (“He drank the whole bottle”). often called the medieval period. The telling is for the sake of the tale. For a special use of the term see METAPHOR/METONYMY. . and in literature. a figure of speech in which a part stands for the whole or vice versa (“All hands on deck” for a ship’s crew) is sometimes considered a form of metonymy. metonymy A figure of speech in which a word is used to apply to something conventionally associated with it. . “the absence of strain . medieval authors have a complete confidence in the intrinsic value of their matter. S.D. The two great poets of the period were Dante and Chaucer. The second half. in the words of C. the development of forms such as the ROMANCE.” long boring digressions.” (See MEDIEVAL ROMANCE . the CHANSON DE GESTE. 476) to the beginning of the RENAISSANCE. Middle Ages The period of European history from the fall of Rome (A. and Marlon Brando.) C. “the most typical vice and the most typical virtue” of the literature of the Middle Ages. or a writer for her work (“She read all of Jane Austen”). Lewis’s The Discarded Image (1964) offers a description of the medieval world view that is as vivid and witty as it is educational. in which nothing is irrelevant or accidental. Lewis. in which. “The writer feels everything to be so interesting in itself that there is no need for him to make it so. and the MYSTERY PLAY. 262 .

Robertson’s A Preface to Chaucer (1963) is an insightful guide to the poet and his age. English. was the language of the common people. in which the actor or actors rely on the skill- ful employment of bodily movements or facial gestures. By the end of the 14th century. French the language of the government. which succeeded the Old Comedy associated with Aristophanes.” Robert Ackerman’s Backgrounds to Medieval English Literature (1966) offers a useful introduction to the literature of the period. The major figure of the period is Geoffrey Chaucer. but a considerable distance from modern English. miles gloriosus See BRAGGART WARRIOR. No complete examples of this form have survived. to a lesser extent. regarded by many as the second greatest poet in the history of English literature. As such it attained great popularity in the waning years of the Roman Empire. as the opening lines of Chaucer’s great poem illustrate: Whan that April with his showres soote The droughte of March hath perced to the roote The lines in modern English are “When April with its showers sweet / The drought of March has pierced to the root. The period also saw the major achievements of the MYSTERY PLAYS. French. W. mime A play with no dialogue. The language of Middle English was an amalgam of Old English. The GRAMMAR and syntax were largely English. D. Other significant works of the age are William Langland’s Piers Plowman (1367–90). 1370). mime described a form of early comedy consisting of broad slapstick and obscene dialogue. and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (c. when Chaucer was writing The Canterbury Tales (1376–1400) the language was recognizably English. Middle Comedy. remarkable products of religious faith and popular imagination. and Latin the language of the learned. an important collection and re-telling of the legends of King Arthur. Latin. In classical Roman times. a verse ROMANCE dealing with the adventures of a knight defending the chivalric code of honor. and.C. frequently satirized Greek mythological figures. an allegorical dream vision in verse. Middle English In English literature the period from the middle of the 14th century to the beginning of the 16th. Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte D’Arthur (1485). the vocabulary heavily influenced by French.MIME Middle Comedy A type of COMEDY that flourished in Greece in the fourth century B. largely Germanic in its roots. but the obscenity eventually resulted in the suppression of these 263 .

In Marcel Carne’s celebrated film Children of Paradise (1944). Kendall Williams’s Mimesis as Make-Believe (1990) is a theoretical discussion of the role of imagination in mimetic art and literature. mimesis In his Apologie for Poetrie (1595). to speak metaphorically. the COMMEDIA DELL’ARTE and other groups of itinerant players incorporated some of the slapstick features of the mime tradition. Sir Philip Sidney describes POETRY as “an art of imitation. political or social drives are not instinctive but are imitations learned by copying another. in which the desiring one is motivated more to be like the model than to achieve the ostensible object of desire. or in the practice of REALISM. whether in the formulation of MARXIST CRITICISM. In 18th-century France. or figuring forth. but as a result of reading the love 264 . The “other” who is being copied represents a model or mediator through which a human relationship is filtered. and.” Sidney’s definition of mimesis is one example among many of the influence of the Aristotelian idea that literature—indeed all of art—is an imitation of life. asserting that certain sexual. One literary example is the story of Paolo and Francesca in Dante’s Inferno. which viewed the literary text as an autonomous. a speaking picture. The two lovers succumb not directly to each other. by NEW CRITICISM. in Hamlet’s words. In the Renaissance. see DIEGESIS/MIMESIS. Nevertheless the traditional view of literature as holding. or as demonstrated in classical critical texts such as Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis (1953).D. counterfeiting. This mimetic theory has dominated Western thought from the Renaissance to the present day. these popular troupes were forbidden to employ dialogue. which defined art as an expression of the artist. but of language in general. “A mirror up to nature” retains its prominence. the modern definition of mime as acting without words came into use and established a tradition that has had a long life in French theater. and by DECONSTRUCTION and POSTSTRUCTURALISM. self-referential object. Great mime artists have included the 19th-century performer Jean Gaspard Deburau. which tend to question the referential character not only of literature. For another conception of Mimesis. for so Aristotle termeth it in his word Mimesis. Jean-Louis Barrault appeared as Deburau and performed a portion of a mime play. Thus “mimetic desire” represents triangular desire. in the 20th century.MIMESIS plays by the church in the sixth century A. that is to say a representing. mimetic desire Term coined by the myth critic and theorist René Girard. Marcel Marceau and Jacques Tati. As a result. although it has been seriously challenged at various times: by ROMANTICISM.

. and sceptical about any possibilities life may appear to offer. immobile. 265 . Frederick Karl’s American Fictions. and the acceptance of representation—with the mind as the mirror of nature—as its organizing principle. exhibit mimetic desire. such as Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream or Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Irony and Solidarity (1989). and. Once that occurs. See ENVY. In Girard’s reading. impels the two young lovers to act as if determined by fate. the metaphor of the human mind as a mirror reflecting reality has dominated Western philosophy since the later 17th century. Rorty’s arguments regarding representation are detailed in his Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979). it is a mirror in which they gaze. even dialogue. not a wish to eliminate him. As a result. mind as mirror According to the philosopher Richard Rorty. “The written word . Rorty calls for the abandonment of the theory of REPRESENTATION. the child’s attraction to the mother is an imitation of the father. Rorty makes an effective argument for the role of literature as an edifying force in society. 1982). 1940–1980 (1983) discusses the minimalist style in contemporary American fiction. mimetic desire can lead to conflict and competition between the two. he suggests.” In his book Contingency. . SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION. philosophy will be forced to cede its position as the final arbiter of value and truth and take a more modest place in the ongoing “conversation of mankind. minimalism A style in contemporary literature and art that aims at reducing the elements in a text to a bare minimum. if the father experiences the child as a threat. See PRAGMATISM. the belief that “to know is to represent accurately what is outside the mind” led to the emergence of EPISTEMOLOGY as the central feature of philosophy. discovering in themselves the semblances of their brilliant models. An outstanding example is Samuel Beckett.” Girard extends his “mimetic desire” concept to challenge Freud’s crucial principle.MIND AS MIRROR story of Lancelot and Guinevere. 1976) and Ann Beattie (The Burning House. The term has been used to describe the stories of contemporary American writers such as Raymond Carver (WillYou Please Be Quiet. Girard’s theories are developed in his A Theater of Envy:William Shakespeare (1991). According to Girard. in his MIME plays. who progressively subtracted from his work story line. plays featuring mixed-up pairs of lovers. For Girard. Please?. the OEDIPAL COMPLEX. However. Minimalist fiction tends to represent characters who are isolated. physical movement.

modernism A development in literature and the arts that began in the late 19th century and. dominated the cultural landscape until the 1950s when it began to be displaced by POSTMODERNISM. in Ezra Pound’s phrase “to make it new. The most celebrated of the minnesingers was Walther von der Vogelweide (1170?–1230). Perhaps the distinguishing feature of modernism is its determination to dispense with the past. but what distinguished modernism was the profound sense of intellectual crisis in which it developed. miracle play A form of medieval drama centered on a miracle performed either by the Virgin Mary or a saint. in which the cutting of a lock of a woman’s hair by an ardent admirer is treated in the manner of Homer’s Iliad. Like their French counterparts. The earliest known miracle play in French is Le jeu de Saint Nicholas (c. mock epic A term. This type of play resembles the SAINT PLAY but differs in that the latter focuses on the life or martyrdom of a saint. the minnesingers not only composed but also performed their songs. in addition to his love lyrics. in a variety of evolving forms. who composed songs in the COURTLY LOVE tradition.MINNESINGERS minnesingers Medieval German poet/musicians. See also JONGLEUR. although the latter term is usually reserved for plays based upon biblical incidents. Ronald Taylor’s The Art of the Minnesinger (1968) provides a history and analysis of the subject. The best example in English poetry is Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock (1712–14). a traveling entertainer. Modernism was a response to the shift in thought and belief precipitated by intellectual developments and discoveries associated with. who. the TROUBADOURS. but not limited 266 . mise-en-scène See SETTING. minstrel In medieval Europe.” In one sense this impulse lies at the basis of every literary movement in history. TROUBADOURS. sometimes known as mock heroic. also produced political and religious songs. The term miracle play is also sometimes used to describe the English cycle plays more commonly referred to as MYSTERY PLAYS. who sang ballads and recounted folktales and other traditional stories. The play depicts the adventures of a crusader whose life is saved by the miraculous intervention of Saint Nicholas. 1200) by Jean Bodel. for a form that employs the “high style” associated with EPIC poetry in order to satirize a trivial subject.

Symbolism became a major feature of modern art and literature and of the criticism it fostered. and popular culture adherents as being sexist. and Einstein’s conception of space/time uprooted the straightforward chronological NARRATIVE forms of the 19th century. Sigmund Freud. personal energy. (See LIBERAL/CONSERVATIVE IMAGINATION. One consequence of this intellectual crisis was a turn toward the inner self. An INTERIOR MONOLOGUE represents a character’s fleeting thoughts and impressions. it is a DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE. Marxists. and elitist. it is an APOSTROPHE. If the speech is addressed to someone present. Nietzsche’s declaration of “the death of God” summarized the dismissal of the very ground of the Hebraic/Christian tradition. and Albert Einstein.” Thus one of the most influential terms in modern literature was James Joyce’s EPIPHANY. Now those groups are taking a second look.” replacing it with one of man as the descendant of an ape. while Freud’s representation of the significance of the UNCONSCIOUS called into question the notion of rational free choice. Marx’s view of the economic determinism that governed western history and culture directly challenged the idealist philosophy of its time. which implied that truth was at best a fleeting. Modernism suffered a decline in reputation in the 1970s and 1980s. as in Ogden Nash’s airy dismissal of one of New York City’s five boroughs: The Bronx? No Thonx. reactionary. impermanent. As the critic Denis Donoghue has expressed it. monologue A long speech by one speaker.MONOMETER to. or inner speech. frequently employed as the outward sign of an interior condition. Friedrich Nietzsche. If the speaker is alone such a speech is called a SOLILOQUY. Karl Marx.) Malcolm Bradbury’s The Modern World: Ten Great Writers (1988) examines modernism through its leading literary figures. the names Charles Darwin. 267 . intensely personal moment that the artist could strive to capture. Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859) uprooted the traditional view of “man made in the image and likeness of God. “Modernism is concerned with the validity of one’s feelings and the practice of converting apparently external images and events into inwardness. Another was the focus on the literary SYMBOL. attacked by feminists. monometer A line of verse consisting of one FOOT. If the speaker addresses someone absent or an abstract idea.

the study of the forms of words. Beauty. In this sense montage is an essential feature of filmmaking. Some Elizabethan dramas. Examples of the latter include the peeling away of calendar pages to suggest the passage of time. moral In popular usage. the ethical lesson of a literary work. For example. By the time he reaches his grave all have deserted him. the smallest meaningful unit of a language. Moscow Art Theater A repertory theater founded by Konstantin Stanislavski (1863–1938) and Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko in 1897. they cannot be broken down any further. as in the phrase “the moral of the story. contain two morphemes. the tone of T. In a more specialized sense. the term refers to a sequence of quick dissolves employed to convey an element of the story. Its early 268 . Everyman tries to enlist various allegorical figures such as Fellowship. and the speeding wheels of a train to indicate a journey. work and er. A parallel term in relation to sound instead of meaning is PHONEME. The term is similar to TONE. mood The emotional atmosphere of a literary work. differing in that tone alludes to the author’s attitude to the subject. constitute a single morpheme. Morality plays were didactic in intent. morphology In LINGUISTICS. The best known is Everyman (c. See ETHICAL CRITICISM. designed to instill fear of damnation while showing the path to salvation. such as work. Eliot’s The Waste Land (1922) is ironic while the mood is one of despair. Faustus (1588–92) and Ben Jonson’s Volpone (1605–6). who stays with him as he prepares for God’s judgment. S. Some words. morality play A form of English drama of the 15th and early 16th centuries in which characters exemplify moral or religious abstractions. 1500). in response to a summons from Death. while mood usually refers to the reader’s experience.MONTAGE montage A film term that in its general sense is a synonym for editing. Others. famous for its acting style and its association with the great Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov. in which.” Modern critics tend to use the term only in reference to explicitly didactic texts such as SERMONS or FABLES. of the ways in which they are made up of MORPHEMES. a person who works. except for Good Deeds. such as worker. and Knowledge to accompany him on his journey. employ features of the morality play. such as Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. morpheme In linguistics. the process of putting together the scenes that will make up the completed film. Five Wits.

Among the best known of the muckrakers were Upton Sinclair. the representation of an unmotivated act. Three Sisters (1901). motif An element that appears in a number of literary works. and. Lincoln Steffens. most notably. Norris’s The Octopus (1901) and Sinclair’s The 269 . Philip Larkin. The theater exercised a powerful influence on modern theories of acting. and the celebration of ordinary life. In the DETECTIVE STORY the term motive is frequently used to designate the reason for the crime. or. the The name given to a group of English poets in the 1950s who stressed irony. A celebrated example is the novelist André Gide. and Ida Tarbell. Among its practitioners were Donald Davie. restraint. Hamlet’s apostrophe to “poor Yorick” is an expression of the memento mori (“remember you must die”) motif. more likely. Thom Gunn. The implicit DETERMINISM in this idea of motivation has led some modern writers to reject this notion in the name of human freedom. in that it is a concrete example of a theme. See also LEITMOTIF. particularly the technique known as the METHOD. and The Cherry Orchard (1904) established its preeminence in the performance of his plays. These poets were consciously reacting against what they regarded as the pretentious. social. Frank Norris. Elizabeth Jennings.” See BANALITY OF EVIL .MUCKRAKERS production of Chekhov’s The Sea Gull (1895). Another famous example of an anti-motivation position is Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s description of critics’ search for Iago’s motivation in Shakespeare’s Othello as “the motive hunting of a motiveless malignity. muckrakers A term coined by Theodore Roosevelt to describe (and dispar- age) a group of American writers in the first decade of the 20th century who exposed the corrupt practices of certain big businesses and government officials. motivation The determining forces of a character’s behavior. circumstantial. part of the play’s larger theme of DEATH. represented by the verse of Dylan Thomas and the NEW APOCALYPSE MOVEMENT. who in his novel The Counterfeiters (1926) postulates the acte gratuit (“the gratuitous act”). Movement. A motivation may be psychological. The assumption of realist literature is that there is always an underlying motivation. It differs from a THEME. motion pictures See FILM. which it closely resembles. a “cause” or “reason” that explains a person’s behavior. self-doubt. ornate poetry of the 1940s. a combination of these.

muse The traditional term for the source of poetic inspiration. The basic plot involves a fight between St. there are other points of contact that can be grouped under the headings of Literature in Music and Music in Literature. Steffens’s The Shame of the Cities (1904) dealt with corruption in municipal governments. as in the collaborations of Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannstahl (Der Rosencavalier. who is also Father Christmas. Auden (The Rake’s Progress. 270 . the nine muses were goddesses who presided over the arts and other fields of learning. TRAGEDY. multiculturalism argues that students acquire enhanced self-esteem when they study their own cultures. 1911). Clio. This connection is underscored when the collaborators are distinguished writers and composers. Rockefeller. In Greek mythology. As an educational movement. However. The question of the “opening up” of the canon has sparked a continuing debate. monopolistic tactics of John D. dancing. flute music. music The relation of music and literature is most intense when the two join in the various forms of OPERA and SONG. Many of the plays feature the folk hero of the Red Cross. The INVOCATION to the muse is a traditional feature of EPIC poetry. while Ida Tarbell’s The History of the Standard Oil Company (1904) exposed the ruthless. in which the original “Green Man” was a vegetation deity. multiculturalism A contemporary movement in the United States based upon the assumption that traditional. In reference to literature. COMEDY. The plot suggests the ancient roots of these plays. history. Euterpe. multiculturalists argue for the inclusion of ethnic and minority literature in the CANON. Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht (The Threepenny Opera.MULTICULTURALISM Jungle (1906) helped to bring about social reforms in agriculture and the meat industry. 1951). George and the Turkish Knight. one of whom is killed. 1928). The dead man is brought back to life by the Doctor. probably stretching back to pre-Christian times. Melpomene. St. the basic literary texts taught in schools and colleges. LYRIC and love poetry. The names of the muses and the fields they governed are the following: Calliope. and Urania. George. Mummers’ plays continue to be performed in some remote villages of Northern England and Scotland. Erato. Thalia. and Igor Stravinsky and W. mummers’ play/mumming play A form of folk play performed during Christmas time in English villages in the 16th and 17th centuries. Terpischore. epic poetry. mainstream culture has overlooked many of the literary contributions of ethnic and minority groups. astronomy. H. Polymnia. sacred music.

Calvin S.” Schwartz and Dietz’s “Dancing in the Dark. S. Formerly “musical comedy. One example is the “tone poem. Other examples include Thomas Mann’s story “The Kreutzer Sonata. Still another form of Music in Literature is the attempt to introduce structural features of music into POETRY and FICTION. The French SYMBOLIST POETS advocated this attempt “to aspire to the condition of music. that evolved chiefly in England and the United States in the 20th century. Among these are the musical features of LEITMOTIF. the chief forerunner of the musical in the United States was the revue.” an orchestral composition that attempts to “tell a story.” compositions that attempt to “verbalize” music by relying on the emotional connotations that the arrangement of notes can produce. sponsored by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Along with operetta. Eliot’s series of poems The Four Quartets (1936–42).” Aldous Huxley’s novel Point Counterpoint (1928). and Pins and Needles (1936). A common instance of poetry and music is the presence of JAZZ rhythms in the work of African-American and many other contemporary poets. but the great majority merely strung together a series of unrelated skits and songs. musical A form of theatrical entertainment. notably adopted as a central principle in Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past (1913–27).MUSICAL The category of Literature in Music includes “program music. edited by J.” and Cole Porter’s “Let’s Do It.” as in Richard Strauss’s Don Quixote (1897). Despite these frivolous settings. In the category of Music in Literature belong many of the experiments that aimed to reproduce a “musical” element.” The first significant attempt to integrate the songs with the script and dialogue (“the book”) was Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein’s Show Boat (1927). which dealt in its subplot with the theme of race. Gibaldi. Barricelli and J. Brown’s Music and Literature: A Comparison of the Two Arts (1948) is an invaluable survey of the subject. John Hollander’s The Untuning of the Sky (1961) is an analysis of the relation of music to English poetry before the 18th century. such as Shuffle Along (1921). many of the best American show tunes were composed for revues.” using as one of their models Edgar Allan Poe’s experiments with ONOMATOPOEIA. Some revues. had unifying themes. P. including Rodgers and Hart’s “Manhattan.” the form has undergone a name change to reflect the increasingly serious tone of these plays. memorably encapsulated in the 271 . derived in part from OPERETTA. and T. Steven Paul Scher’s “Literature and Music” appears in Interrelations of Literature (1982). the first all-black revue. a variety show that included a series of unrelated musical scenes.

Other outstanding musical films of the 1930s were those featuring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Outstanding among ’50s musicals were An American in Paris (1951) with an allGershwin score. Louis (1944). Rodgers and Hart’s Pal Joey (1940). dancing. 1970. movies produced a new and distinctive form of musical from their ability to create a fantasy world covering a range from real people in imaginary settings to animated cartoon figures. and Phantom of the Opera. which have always provided the basis for the genre. all produced in 1933). animated films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). 1981. 1978. including Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate (1948). and the remarkably choreographed Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954). except for the occasional adaptation of a Broadway hit. and Styne and Sondheim’s Gypsy (1959). and the film that made the greatest use of the visual potential of FILM. and story is Singin’ in the Rain (1952). The Jazz Singer (1927). as well as the memorable Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) and Meet Me in St. 1984). its leading character the first example of an anti-hero in a musical. 1979. Footlight Parade. The demise of the STUDIO SYSTEM and high production costs brought an end to the Hollywood musical. The musical that appears to offer the most effective integration of music. Since that time. Sweeney Todd. or talkie. the most successful musicals artistically have been those created by Stephen Sondheim (Company. and Gold Diggers of 1933. one of the funniest shows in the history of the form. Aside from the adaptation of Broadway musicals. Film musicals were among the most popular American films from the 1930s to the 1960s. set the stage for the musical’s coming of age in the 1940s. 1973.” Among celebrated successors to Show Boat in the 1930s were George and Ira Gershwin’s Of Thee I Sing (1933) and their distinguished folk opera Porgy and Bess (1935). Beginning with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! (1943) and Carousel (1945). the next two decades saw the most impressive musicals in the history of the genre. The Wizard of Oz (1939). The 1940s saw the innovative all-black musical StormyWeather (1943). 272 . Bernstein and Sondheim’s West Side Story (1957). Frank Loesser’s Guys and Dolls (1950). Another important development has been the increased significance of dance in musicals. while the greatest popular successes have been the English and American productions of Andrew Lloyd Webber (Evita.MUSICAL song “Ol’ Man River. comedy came back to the musical with a vengeance in Mel Brooks’s The Producers. Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady (1956). but the first films to make imaginative use of the camera were those choreographed by Busby Berkeley (42nd Street. A Little Night Music. 1986). a trend epitomized in A Chorus Line (1975). The first filmed musical was fittingly the first sound film. Cats. and Sunday in the Park with George. In 2000.

although one that incorporated the subversive principle of CARNIVAL. still clinging to its old glory days as it loses its place on the world stage. and N-Town. and dancers. performed in cities throughout Europe in connection with certain feast days. Stanley Green’s Hollywood Musicals (1990) is an entertaining history. the fading music hall performer Archie Rice comes to stand for postwar England. a form of variety theater popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Each guild was assigned the task of presenting a particular sequence from the cycle. Similar to American VAUDEVILLE. In John Osborne’s The Entertainer (1956). known as the platea (place). Chester. singers. A complete cycle might represent major scenes from the Old and New Testaments. Raymond Knapp’s The American Musical and the Formation of National Identity (2004) examines its 19th century roots. acrobats. Wakefield. The traditional belief that mystery plays “evolved” directly from LITURGICAL DRAMA has been challenged substantially in recent years. the sacred and the profane. The area between the platform and the audience.MYTSERY PLAYS Lehman Engel’s The American Musical Theater (1967. mystery plays Medieval plays that depict scenes from the Bible. 273 . the audience was encouraged to join in. The Second Shepherd’s Play. because of the consummate skill of the anonymous playwright known as the Wakefield Master. The plays were made up of individual episodes that formed a cycle covering the range of biblical history from the story of Adam to the Last Judgment. concluding with the Last Judgment. In England. the mysteries were produced by the local trade guilds of the town in which they appeared. the mystery cycles came to an end with the advent of Protestantism in England. The manuscripts of the four English cycles that have been preserved are named for the towns in which they were produced: York. The plays were performed on floats that were moved to various stations in the town or set up in circles or semicircles. When singers performed. was also used as a performing space. that the plays performed a primary religious function. Of the four cycles the most famous is that of Wakefield. 1975) provides an expert’s overview of the genre until 1970. The Master is the author of the best known episode of the English mysteries. particularly the feast of CORPUS CHRISTI. music hall acts included jugglers. however. music hall In Great Britain. comedians. Performed from the 14th through the 16th centuries. The productions were extraordinary spectacles. a marvelous mixture of the solemn and the comic. There is little doubt. The movement of the actors from the platform to the platea would signal a shift to a new scene. the last one so designated because the town is not known.

See also ZEN. Are the origins of literature rooted in myth? If so. For a comprehensive treatment of the English cycles. they were eventually replaced by the form known as AUTO SACRAMENTAL. Among the great Western classics in the mystical tradition are the KABBALAH. An aspect of many of the world’s religions. written for performance in the city of Le Mans. what are the consequences of that history? Does the influence of myth extend beyond random traces in modern literature to include the basic structure of literature itself? These are some of the questions that literary scholars have been investigating while at the same time absorbing an increasingly complex definition of myth from the fields of anthropology. see Martin Stevens’s Four Middle English Mystery Cycles (1987). 274 . Dealing with the lives of the saints as well as biblical stories. theme. myths tend to have an underlying consistency of action. Thomas à Kempis’s Imitation of Christ (1426). myth Stories belonging to a specific culture recounting supernatural or paradoxical events designed to reflect that culture’s view of the world. Mysticism is a feature of the work of a number of writers. and character. John of the Cross. In Spain mystery plays were also known as autos (one-act plays). and Thomas Traherne. These presentations have brought home to many the realization that the mysteries are not a form of “primitive” drama but remarkable and powerful examples of popular art. myth stands at the magnetic center. mysticism The spiritual discipline that enables an individual to experience union with God or a divine principle. The relation of myth to literature has been one of the chief concerns of literary study in the 20th century. the English mysteries were revived for performance at the Festival of Britain.MYSTICISM In France the most famous of the mysteries is Arnold Greban’s Passion (c. Since that time. In 1951. Myth has occupied a central role in the psychologies of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung and among philosophers such as Ernst Cassirer and Suzanne Langer. including the 17th-century poets Richard Crashaw. and the poetry of St. and philosophy. mystical experience has been the source of literature from antiquity to the present. Despite their seemingly endless variety. the autobiography of Saint Theresa of Avila. An excellent anthology is Medieval Drama. 1450). At the convergence of these disciplines. psychology. a cycle that included depictions of the life of Adam and the passion and resurrection of CHRIST. edited by David Bevington (1975). they have been regularly presented in Great Britain and have been recorded on video cassette. George Herbert.

All of these influences have helped to shape the divergent approaches to literature grouped under the heading of MYTH CRITICISM. B. In recent years the mythic approach has been criticized by feminists and structuralists. or the character (the maimed or wounded hero). Martin Day’s The Many Meanings of Myth (1984) examines the pervasiveness of the concept of myth in contemporary thought. As a result. summer. has been redefined by STRUCTURALISM as a manifestation of the way in which the human mind creates culture. Lewis’s The American Adam (1955) and Leslie Fiedler’s Love and Death in the American Novel (1960) were among the many attempts to analyze the archetypal pattern that defined the American tradition.MYTH CRITICISM who argue that mythic thinking is a fundamental aspect of human consciousness. at which time it deposed NEW CRITICISM as the dominant critical school. whose multi-volumed The Golden Bough (1890–1915) is a collection of myths and rituals exhibiting archetypal patterns from a wide variety of cultures. autumn. Barber’s Shakespeare’s Festive Comedy (1959) and Northrop Frye’s A Natural Perspective (1965) were notable achievements. Archetypes are evident in certain myths and rituals that underlie the forms of narrative literature and are the source of our profound response to certain stories and plays. irony. as a collection of stories that incorporate the beliefs of a given culture. winter. The traditional anthropological view of myth. whose Anatomy of Criticism (1957) is an impressive attempt to encompass all of literature within a mythic frame. particularly in the study of American literature. myth critics are heavily indebted to Carl Jung’s theory of the collective UNCONSCIOUS and to the work of the anthropologist James Frazier. The most celebrated of myth critics is Northrop Frye. an aspect of life embedded within the collective UNCONSCIOUS of every human being. Works such as R. where C. Frye sees literature as rooted in the myths of the seasons: comedy. or response to. the forest). L. An archetype can be found in literature in either the setting (for example. W. An archetype is a basic apprehension of. myth criticism Central to the conception of myth criticism is the notion of “archetypal” patterns. FEMINIST CRITICISM argues that the Jungian concept of the archetypal hero assumes the centrality of the male and the secondary role of the 275 . these four genres are indelibly marked by their mythic origins. the plot (the descent into the underworld). The appearance of Frye’s book in 1957 marked the high point of myth criticism. The mythic approach also flourished in Shakespearean criticism. spring. romance. tragedy. In their use of the archetype.

276 . Jacqueline De Weever’s Metaphor And Mythmaking In BlackWomen’s Fiction (1992) applies this approach to African-American women’s literature. and Frye’s version in particular. myth criticism in general. STRUCTURALISM calls for an emphasis not on the content of myth but on its structure. Robert Graves’s The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth (1948) and Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949).MYTH CRITICISM woman. continues to play a prominent role in practical criticism. Despite its critics. Other notable examples of the mythic approach include Maud Bodkin’s Archetypal Patterns in Poetry (1937).

Schiller argues that the Greeks lived in harmony with nature and produced a poetry that was more natural and less tortured by the ethical doubts and idealized goals of late 18thcentury poets. John Keats. as an example of the “egotistical sublime. exhibits this acute self-centeredness.” the only character not reconciled at the end of the play. Sigmund Freud’s re-assignment of narcissism to that stage of infantile development in which the child’s own body is the object of erotic desire has had a profound influence. exemplified for him by his great contemporary Johann von Goethe. criticized by another Romantic poet.). He calls for a union of the naive and sentimental. the figure in Greek mythology who fell in love with his own image while gazing into a pool of water.ååå n å naive/sentimental A set of terms that attempts to distinguish POETRY that is direct and unself-conscious (naive) from that which is self-conscious and conflicted because of the poet’s inability to reconcile thought and feeling (sentimental). The poetry of William Wordsworth. Narcissism plays an important role in Romantic poetry. most of them focusing on frustration and isolation as the fruits of self-love. A Shakespearean example is Malvolio in Twelfth Night. in which it is allied with introspection and self-knowledge. narcissism The theme of self-love. The terms were coined by the German dramatist and critic Friedrich Schiller in his On Naive and Sentimental Poetry (1795–96). The Narcissus myth was adapted by Ovid in his Metamorphoses (first century A. Narcissistic personalities are adults “arrested” at this early stage. in which he contrasts the literature of classical Greece with that of his own time. “sick of self-love. Ovid’s version formed the basis for many medieval and Renaissance renderings of the story. Viewed through the psychoanalytical theory known as “object relations” (the analysis of the capacity to love and care for 277 . named after Narcissus.” In the 20th century. René Wellek’s A History of Modern Criticism: 1750–1950 (Volume 1. 1955) contains an informative discussion of Schiller’s ideas. in particular.D.

narratee In a NARRATIVE. for example. the narratee is a lawyer who listens to the narrator’s “confession” and is asked for a judgment. Gerald Prince’s A Dictionary of Narratology (1987) is an excellent introduction to this field. He contrasts Hamlet’s failure to move beyond narcissism to Edgar’s successful reconciliation with his father. Narrative poetry refers to poems that tell a story. John Russell argues that Shakespeare’s Hamlet is a character trapped in a narcissistic illusion generated by his ambivalence toward his dead father. the narratee is not explicitly indicated. A nar- rative is made up of events. narratology The systematic analysis of the elements that make up a NARRATIVE. and the arrangement of those events. In third-person narratives the narrator may be invisible. The narratee is distinct from the implied reader of a fictional work in that the narratee is a character in the text. Another example of the narratee is the silent emissary to the duke in Browning’s My Last Duchess (1842). in that the 278 . BALLAD. and the IMPLIED AUTHOR/READER. (See IMPLIED AUTHOR/READER. in King Lear. or LAY. Narratology differs from ordinary literary criticism in that it focuses on how the story is told—on the structural elements of narrative or on such features as the NARRATOR. narrative An account of actual or imagined events told by a NARRATOR. usually understood to be a person and. the line between narratee and implied reader becomes difficult to distinguish. such as the EPIC. Gerald Prince’s A Dictionary of Narratology (1987) provides a discussion of the term. the earl of Gloucester.) In The Catcher in the Rye (1955). identified with the AUTHOR. In firstperson narratives. In fictional narratives. the figure to whom the story is told. Narratives may be as simple as a joke or anecdote or as complex as a multivolumed history or NOVEL. When. narrator The voice that recounts the story in a NARRATIVE. certain literary figures present interesting examples of narcissism. In Albert Camus’s The Fall (1957). the STORY. the narrator is a fictional character within the story. the PLOT. the narratee is apparently a psychiatrist whose silent presence testifies to the emotional condition of the narrator. The term applies to nonfiction as well as FICTION. as in most narratives. In his object-relations study Hamlet and Narcissism (1995).NARRATEE another). the identity of the narrator can raise complicated questions. the NARRATEE. in nonfiction narrative.

1984). 279 . 1981). 1990). The first NOVEL by a Native American.NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURE reader is unaware of anything but a voice. but it was not until the 1960s that native authors began to win a wide readership. Gerald Prince’s A Dictionary of Narratology (1987) provides a thorough treatment of the term. Apess was a “mixedblood” and an orphan. In nonfiction. including Leslie Marmon Silko (Ceremony. Louise Erdrich (Love Medicine. Unreliable narrators may be doubted for any number of reasons including their lack of sophistication (Huck in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.) Narrators may also be classified as reliable or unreliable. and James Welch (Fools Crow. Scott Momaday’s Pulitzer Prize–winning House Made of Dawn. detached or intrusive. What we can say is that their literature was oral—meant to be performed not read—and consisted mainly of MYTHs. (See IMPLIED AUTHOR/READER. In either case the narrator may be identified with. The earliest of these was William Apess’s A Son of the Forest (1829). or seen as separate from. or their oral. The turning point was the publication in 1968 of N. Reliable narrators. were designed to guarantee the continued orderly processes of life. English translations of this literature inevitably fail to convey their tone and texture. the Sioux (1929) and John Rogers’s A Chippewa Speaks (1957). Sophia Alice Callahan’s Wynema. That fact should dispel any easy generalizations about Native Americans and their diverse cultures. 1962). who as a child worked as an indentured servant of white families. The first writings in English by Native Americans were autobiographical. 1884) or their lack of sanity (Charles Kinbote in Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire. 1992) have won critical acclaim. was published in 1891. Other autobiographies were Luther Standing Bear’s My People. Simon Ortiz (From Sand Creek. A. making comments on the characters or events. Joy Harjo (In Mad Love and War. In poetry. performative essence. 1986) in fiction. resting on the belief in the power of language to affect nature. Many of their stories and songs. Lavonne Ruoff’s American Indian Literatures (1990) is an excellent survey of the field. and Sherman Alexie (The Business of Fancydancing. See NARRATEE. Others were accounts of the creation of the world or guides to proper behavior. are those whose account the reader does not doubt. Vine Deloria’s Custer Died for Your Sins (1969) and Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (1974) are classics. the implied author or the author. the most common form. 1977). Native American literature When Columbus arrived in North America there were no fewer than 350 languages spoken there. Momaday’s success opened the door for a number of talented writers.

nature/art Two important. pastoralism promoted the view of nature that was later 280 . The artists’ task is to reveal the role of these factors in the lives of the characters. Krikorian’s Naturalism and the Human Spirit (1944) attempts to explore the wider implications of the movement. The Experimental Novel (1880) and Naturalism in the Theatre (1882). H. 1900. initiated a centuries-long debate that had important bearing on literature from classical times to the RENAISSANCE. Zola’s ideas exerted considerable influence in the early decades of the 20th century. Beyond his own work. An American Tragedy. he would probably agree that Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex represents a kind of perfection of the tragic action that it imitates. contrasting terms in the history of literature. 1925). According to Zola. The view held by Plato and Aristotle was that nature and art were not oppositional but complementary. 1932–34). 1893). Theodore Dreiser (Sister Carrie. The foremost spokesman of the naturalist school was Émile Zola. natural life of shepherds. 1901). “natural” within the individual. The attempt to determine the relationship of nature to art. the artist must bring the scientist’s objectivity to the depiction of his subjects. nature stands for all that was not made by man. Internally.NATURALISM naturalism A late 19th-century movement in literature and art that grew out of the theory of REALISM.) In celebrating the simple. The division between art and nature showed most clearly in the development of pastoralism as a literary form. Farrell (Studs Lonigan. Externally. such as The Long Voyage Home (1917). The basic effort of naturalism lay in the attempt to produce a scientifically accurate depiction of life even at the cost of representing ugliness and discord. For example. (See PASTORAL. Maxim Gorky’s The Lower Depths (1902). In drama.” but implicit in Aristotle’s formula is the suggestion that the imitation might “perfect” or improve nature. people employed these terms to describe aspects of both external and internal reality. and James T. Aristotle’s famous dictum “Art imitates nature” suggests the primacy of the “real” to the “artificial. Y. while art represents the products of human invention. The motives and behavior of characters are determined by heredity and environment. In American literature naturalism was evident in the works of Stephen Crane (Maggie: A Girl of the Streets. naturalist classics include Zola’s Thérèse Raquin (1873). art stands for the product of thought and discipline. who expressed these ideas in two works. and Eugene O’Neill’s early plays. specifically the primacy of one or the other. instinctive. Frank Norris (The Octopus. Since at least as early as classical Greece. nature stands for all that is spontaneous.

the natives of North and South America were described in conflicting terms that provided evidence for both sides of the nature/art controversy. There.NEGATIVE CAPABILITY to reappear in 19th-century ROMANTICISM. Industrial and technological progress seem to many a betrayal of nature. a play based in part on reports of travels to the New World. who controls Caliban through his magical art. not nature. Thus. the reports of travelers to the New World spurred the debate further. on the other.” Keats appears to be suggesting that the willingness to suspend one’s own ideas in order to open oneself to experience 281 . without any irritable reaching after fact and reason. the traditional division of nature and art gave way to the opposition of nature and industrialization. its lyrical shepherds a clear idealization of the real thing. “art itself is nature. Frank Kermode’s “Introduction” to the Arden edition of The Tempest (1954) contains a detailed and incisive treatment of nature and art in relation to the play. this was the quality “which Shakespeare possessed so enormously . But Shakespeare also explores the question in a more didactic fashion in The Winter’s Tale. therefore. all savage. “perfidious. “Prospero is. AESTHETICISM proclaimed the superiority of art to all aspects of life. as Caliban is of Nature. in a debate between Polixenes and Perdita on the subject of crossfertilization of flowers. On the one hand.” Shakespeare was not alone in being of two minds on the subject. . the natives were noble savages “who know no other wealth but Peace and Pleasure”. In the Renaissance. In the 20th century. For Keats. doubts. Shakespeare dramatizes these ideas in the character of Caliban. on the other hand. where the vast beauty of the landscape led writers to proclaim it “Nature’s Nation. This is particularly true in 19th-century America. the natural man and slave of Prospero. Succeeding centuries saw the pendulum swing from art to nature and back. Nevertheless. pastoral poetry was itself art.” In The Tempest. capable of being in uncertainties. . the representative of Art.” In this scheme. The neoclassical ideal saw the dominance of reason and wit (as in Alexander Pope’s line “True Wit is Nature to advantage dressed”). they were. See also ECOCRITICISM and PRIMITIVISM. while Romanticism invested nature with a quasi-divine status.” By the end of the century. Polixenes maintains that in cross-fertilization nature and art mutually interact. nature without art is less than human. in Captain John Smith’s words. As the critic Frank Kermode puts it. inhuman. negative capability A term coined by the poet John Keats to describe the poet’s capacity to negate oneself in order to enter into and become one with his or her subject. In these reports. mysteries. Edward Tayler’s Nature and Art in Renaissance Literature (1964) is an excellent treatment of the subject.

Despite the rigidity of this format. The term refers to the preservation of traditional African culture. negritude A movement initiated in the 1930s by black writers residing in French colonies in Africa and the West Indies. neoclassicism A style in European literature. order. These principles. and his comments on unity of action into rules governing the UNITIES. in which WIT. particularly in poetry where Alexander Pope’s masterly employment of HEROIC COUPLETS constituted the standard until the first stirrings of ROMANTICISM in the last decades of the 18th century. Senghor. In this respect the movement anticipated the position of many POSTCOLONIAL literatures. One example of the latter is A Season in the Congo (1966). French drama flourished during this period. and Aimé Césaire. Keats is apparently responding to Shakespeare’s capacity to think and feel like his characters. the style had a somewhat shorter reign. which in the 1930s was becoming absorbed by European values and standards. Neoclassicism was a later development of the rediscovery of the great Greek and Latin classics in the RENAISSANCE. formal control. a drama set against the background of the assassination in 1960 of Patrice Lumumba. Césaire’s works include poetry and plays. statesman. Hugh Honour’s Neoclassicism (1969) offers a concise summary of the movement. Among the leading writers of this movement were Léopold Senghor. which all plays were exhorted to imitate. the first black member of the Académie Française. It celebrated the development of reason as the ultimate human achievement in art as well as in life. and first president of the republic of Senegal. The neoclassical period is frequently identified with the ENLIGHTENMENT in its emphasis on the principles of rationality. a position that the Romantic emphasis on imagination later challenged. poet. Among classical authors. In English literature neoclassical principles triumphed during the AUGUSTAN AGE. and order assumed a privileged place. poet and playwright from Martinique. the Congolese president. In England. The neoclassical reverence for classical texts established the “Ancients” as the norms against which all other writing was to be tested. none wielded greater authority than Aristotle.NEGRITUDE is the mark of the great poet. and logic. which saw the great tragedies of Pierre Corneille and Jean Racine and the comic masterpieces of Jean-Baptiste Molière. Neoclassical critics transformed Aristotle’s observations on Greek tragedy into prescriptions for all plays. 282 . reason.and 18th-century Europe. from 1660 to the 1780s. dominated literary production in 17th. published his complete poems (Oeuvre poétique) in 1990. codified in certain rules.

Neoplatonism A philosophical system based on the doctrines of Plato.NEOREALISM neoconservative A term used to describe a group of American intellectuals. A well-known recent example is the word quark. a periodical. Neoplatonic themes have been identified in a number of important Renaissance texts. neorealism A movement in the Italian cinema of the late 1940s. Chief among the American writers associated with this movement was the novelist Saul Bellow. see LIBERAL/CONSERVATIVE IMAGINATION. a more stridently conservative tone. Two of Bellow’s later novels. especially in the former journal.C. Dismayed by what they viewed as the excesses of the ’60s radicals. Neoplatonism exerted a powerful influence on the MIDDLE AGES and the RENAISSANCE. the editors of Public Interest. Neoplatonism set up a vision of existence in which all things emanate from The One or The Good. a subatomic particle. Mr. including Castiglione’s The Courtier (1528) and Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1609). they issued a defense of the American system as it had evolved to that point. Sammler’s Planet (1970) and The Dean’s December (1982) reflect an increasingly neoconservative TONE. in the city of Alexandria. adapted by the physicist Murray Gell-Mann from a phrase (“three quarks for Mr. who viewed with increasing skepticism and alarm social and political developments associated with liberal Democratic policies and positions. neologism A word or phrase recently introduced into a language or an old word that has been given a new meaning. former liberals. The position was first articulated in the late 1960s by Irving Kristol and Daniel Bell. Incorporating elements of Asian mysticism with the ideas of Plato. Irving Kristol’s Neocon: The Autobiography of an Idea (1995) traces the development of the movement. neorealist films gained international favor for the sense of raw reality they communicated to film audiences throughout the world. neoconservatives found a home in the pages of Commentary and The Partisan Review and took on. Subsequently. in which it frequently combined with Christian MYSTICISM. The system was established by the philosopher Plotinus in the third century B. For a possible earlier anticipation of this development. Marx”) in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake (1939). The first celebrated 283 . Focusing on the social upheaval and suffering that emerged in post–World War II Italy.

edited by David Overbey. The New Apocalypse (1940). and The Cross and the Sickle (1941). was filmed with non-professional actors. rhetorical verse delivered in the author’s sonorous voice. whose rich. Not a member but a model for the group was Dylan Thomas. harmony. whose Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry (1953) was highly regarded by followers of NEW CRITICISM and of the CHICAGO SCHOOL.NEO-SCHOLASTICISM neorealist film was Roberto Rossellini’s Open City (1945). One of the best known features of Aquinas’s aesthetic theory is his characterization of the beautiful as consisting of wholeness.” the internal relations of language that constitute a “poem. and radiance. neo-Scholasticism In American criticism. Thomas Aquinas and other medieval scholastic philosophers. Hendry and Henry Treece. J. whose poems. The last great example of neorealism is de Sica’s Umberto D. In the 1950s the group was displaced by the MOVEMENT. The basic principle of New Criticism was to locate the meaning of a literary work not in the intention of the author nor in the experience of the reader. This definition receives a detailed analysis in the final chapter of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as aYoung Man (1916). edited by two of its leading members. Its chief figure was Jacques Maritain. is a collection of appreciative essays on the movement.T . With the return of relative stability and prosperity in Italy during the late 1950s. essays. Springtime in Italy: A Reader on Neo-Realism (1978). Other postwar neorealist films included Rossellini’s Paisan (1946). perhaps a reflection of their greater success in analyzing poems than fiction 284 . New Criticism A type of Anglo/American criticism that arose in the 1920s and ’30s and became the dominant form of academic criticism until well into the 1960s. a moving account of old age and despair in postwar urban Italy. regarded as a masterpiece of neorealism. Their work appeared in three anthologies. The latter film. a movement of the 1940s and ’50s that adapted the aesthetic theories of St. The White Horseman (1941). shot while the German army was evacuating Rome. achieved great popularity in England and America. and Vittorio de Sica’s Shoeshine (1946) and The Bicycle Thief (1948).” (The New Critics tended to employ the term poem to describe any type of literature. but in “the text itself. (1951). and stories reflected their intense subjectivity and ornate language. new apocalypse movement An overblown name for a group of British poets in the 1940s. the neorealist film gave way to more conventional entertainment films.

As a consequence. In addition to the authors cited above. In recent years this aspect of New Criticism has been critiqued for its alleged hidden agenda: a defense of traditional religious and cultural values under the guise of advocating the autonomy of literature. psychological. the study of literature was frequently sealed off from social. A. the single most important figure in the development of the school was T. particularly in its insistence on the need for a close reading of the literary text. 285 . Among the errors to be avoided were the INTENTIONAL FALLACY. 1957). or at least subordinated to close reading. Blackmur (Form and Value in Modern Poetry. not dealing exclusively with the language of the text) approaches to the study of literature: social. The principles of New Criticism were challenged by the BEAT and PROJECTIVISM movements and by MYTH CRITICISM in the ’50s. Eliot. Wimsatt and Cleanth Brooks’s Literary Criticism: A Short History (1957). Of far greater influence. P. PARADOX. Richards’s Principles of Literary Criticism and the same author’s Practical Criticism (1929). by the student movement of the ’60s. eminently teachable. the attempt to locate meaning in the author’s intention. disrepute into which it later fell. or historical. For a new critical overview of literary studies. IMAGERY. were “extrinsic” (that is. other prominent new critics were R. The earlier work offered a theoretical framework. however. historical. to some extent. and political concerns in favor of a rigorous. The term New Criticism was coined by the American critic John Crowe Ransom in a book of that title published in 1941. was a textbook edited by Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks in 1938. In England. FORMALISM. who lent his prestige as a poet to the movement. New Criticism made a major contribution to the vocabulary. and teaching of literature. the attempt to search for meaning in the experience of the reader. Despite the decline and. S. TENSION. Also to be avoided.) The reader gained critical understanding through a process of “close reading.NEW CRITICISM or drama. frequently endorsing its principles in his own criticism.” strict attention to the characteristics of a literary work as conveyed by such elements as IRONY. New Criticism can be said to have begun with the publication in 1924 of I. William Empson’s Seven Types of Ambiguity (1930) is a classic New Critical text and a striking example of the “close reading” technique advanced by Richards. understanding. Brooks and Warren’s Understanding Poetry had a profound effect on the teaching of literature in American colleges for the next two decades. and the AFFECTIVE FALLACY. political. and SYMBOL. economic. Apart from Richards. see William K. while practical criticism argued for a close study of the language of a poem in order to analyze it properly. and by the emergence of THEORY in the ’70s.

was the definition of the sacred. particularly his conception of the shifting dynamics of POWER. New Historicism views the text as a participant in a historical or political process that it “reconceives. Grant Webster’s The Republic of Letters: A History of Postwar American Literary Opinion (1979) contains a sharp attack. is a minor SOURCE of Shakespeare’s tragedy. A well-known example is Stephen Greenblatt’s essay on King Lear. Shakespeare. At the heart of this struggle .NEW FORMALISM Joseph Frank (The Widening Gyre. . Among its practitioners are Dana Gioia. Samuel Harsnett. Where traditional historical criticism sees a literary text against a backdrop of historical events. Expansive Poetry (1989). edited by Frederick Feirstein. “Shakespeare and the Exorcists. for example. characterizing the movement as “Tory Formalism. In Greenblatt’s analysis. The analysis will then relate the anecdote to a literary text. . both the source and the play emerge as “part of an intense struggle to redefine the central values of that society. written by an Elizabethan contemporary. Charles Martin. A New Historicist analysis often begins with an anecdote describing an event seemingly far removed from literature—an account of a dream.” Traditional scholarship has recognized for a long time that an anti-Catholic pamphlet. whose “thick descriptions” of cultural practices (see ETHNOGRAPHY) provide a procedural model.” New Formalism A movement in American poetry of the 1980s to revive tradi- tional formal verse.” Out of this interaction. not in terms of a direct connection. 1963). between the play or poem and the historical conditions existing at the time it was written. Harsnett’s pamphlet sets out to expose the fraudulence of certain exorcisms performed by Jesuit priests in 16th-century England. the New Formalists called for a return to traditional craftsmanship and the cultivation of a wider poetic audience. and Alan Tate (The Forlorn Demon. or key both text and event to a political or social question. 286 . 1953). is an anthology of New Formalist verse. and the methods of the American anthropologist Clifford Geertz. but as a parallel experience.” New Historicist thought has been strongly influenced by the theories of the French poststructuralist Michel Foucault. A reaction to the dominance of FREE VERSE in contemporary poetry. this approach is interested in “the historicity of texts and the textuality of history. and Timothy Steele. New Historicism A general term for a loosely organized approach to literary study that looks at the historical context of a work from a perspective influenced by POSTSTRUCTURALISM: New Historicism rejects the traditional distinction between the TEXT and the CONTEXT—that is.” In the words of the New Historicist Louis Montrose. Molly Peacock.

but more so in the aesthetic sphere because of their rejection of almost all modern art and literature. to satisfy our need for such an experience. The play offers us a fictional encounter with EVIL.They were criticized as reactionary. 1910) and Paul Elmer More (The Demon of the Absolute. Louis Montrose’s “New Historicisms” in Redrawing the Boundaries (1992). lending an imaginative. whose The Kandy-Kolored 287 . not unlike the exorcists’. 1928). Stressing the virtues of discipline. The figure most closely identified with new journalism is Tom Wolfe. Among these features was an emphasis on the distinctive style and personality of the authors. new journalism A form of news reporting developed in the 1960s that incor- porated some of the features associated with fiction. J. In literary study they extolled the classics for their moral seriousness. reconceives this Protestant/Catholic conflict in terms of a religion of the theater. New Historicism has won wide approval among younger scholars and has moved into other literary periods and various other disciplines. and the ethical mean. Veeser. Greenblatt’s analysis. fact-based report. Although it began as a movement among students of Renaissance texts. The New Historicism (1989). Stephen Greenblatt’s essay on King Lear appears in his Shakespearean Negotiations (1988). convincingly illuminates both the play and its source. provides an overview of the movement. order. edited by Stephen Greenblatt and Giles Gunn. but they eschewed the rigid adherence to arbitrary rules of NEOCLASSICISM. somewhat in the political sense. but some of its positions re-emerged in the NEOCONSERVATIVE trends of the 1980s. including art history and anthropology. literary character to the traditional. is a collection of essays by participants in the movement. The movement was overshadowed in the 1930s by the NEW CRITICISM and the MARXIST CRITICISM of the period. The leading figures of New Humanism were Irving Babbit (The New Laokoon. New Humanism An American critical movement in the first three decades of the 20th century that set itself against the dominance of scientific thought and modern skepticism. New Humanists endorsed the classical virtues of restraint and clarity against what they perceived as the excesses of ROMANTICISM and the social anarchy of MODERNISM. David Hoeveler’s The New Humanism (1977) traces the influence of the movement in American life. edited by Harold A. if not his conclusion.NEW JOURNALISM according to Greenblatt. As removed as this appears to be from the usual view of King Lear.

see Vivian Mercier’s The New Novel: From Queneau to Pinget (1971). As currently used. and the profound “suspicion” that human experience is finally unknowable. In the totalitarian world of the novel. self-consciousness. Others included Jimmy Breslin (The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight. 1959). newspeak A term coined by George Orwell in his anti-Utopian novel 1984 (1949). Nathalie Sarraute (The Age of Suspicion. Johnson’s The New Journalism (1971) explores the early years of the movement. sequential fashion. For a readable description of the movement. Truffaut’s article contained a strong attack on the “quality films” then being produced in France. Closely allied to new journalism is the NONFICTION NOVEL. designed to make lies sound truthful by inverting the traditional meanings of words. bureaucratic euphemisms—sometimes referred to as “doublespeak”—often alluded to in the controversy over POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. Adherents of the new novel argued against the view that a novel should be lifelike and that its plot should unfold in a linear.NEW NOVEL Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (1965) inaugurated the movement. New Wave (nouvelle vague) A movement in the 1950s and ’60s that introduced new techniques and subject matter to French filmmaking. the term refers to evasive. 1972). Hunter Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The emphasis in the new novel is on technical experimentation. 1969). and Robert Pinget (Le Libera. This refusal to make any authorial claims of knowledge forces the reader to participate in the creation of the text’s meaning by filling in the blanks of the story. The New Wave began in 1954 with the publication of an essay in the film journal Cahiers du Cinema by the future director François Truffaut. 1968). the best known are Alain RobbeGrillet (Jealousy. Michael Q. He argued that 288 . Among the practitioners of the new novel. in which novelists such as Norman Mailer and Truman Capote treat factual events in a novelistic mode. language is controlled by the government so that its citizens automatically “spray forth the correct opinions” in government slogans. 1963). In this respect the new novel anticipated those developments in contemporary literature and criticism associated with POSTMODERNISM. 1979). and Joan Didion (The White Album. new novel (nouveau roman) A term referring to a post–World War II French literary movement designed to question the assumptions undergirding traditional REALISM.

Seamus Heaney. as such. The New Yorker gradually began to introduce more serious and socially conscious contributions. Coming together as a group of anti-Stalinist Marxists. not least. S. Pablo Neruda. John Cheever. 1969). D. when it devoted an entire issue to the publication of John Hersey’s Hiroshima. Jean-Luc Godard (Breathless. and Alice Munro. Alain Resnais (Last Year at Marienbad. and. and the cartoonists Helen Hokinson. Edmund Wilson. White. for criticism and reviews. Among the notable regular contributors to the magazine have been. 1961). 1959). Dorothy Parker. a description of the environmental dangers of insecticides. Zbigniew Herbert. figures such as Mary 289 . Perelman. notably in 1946. Alexander Woollcott. James Monaco discusses the theory and practice of the movement in The New Wave (1976). New Yorker. The most celebrated of the New Wave theorists/practitioners were Truffaut (The 400 Blows. Maeve Brennan. in poetry. New York intellectuals A general term for the writers and critics associated with the monthly journal Partisan Review from the 1930s through the 1960s. and in 1962 with the publication of Rachel Carson’s The Silent Spring. J. New Wave films employed unusual camera work and editing. 1959). B. J. E. in fiction. Brendan Gill’s Here at the New Yorker (1974) is a history of the magazine by a longtime contributor. REVIEWS. and Joseph Brodsky. and Eric Rohmer (My Night at Maud’s. New Wave directors were fond of inserting allusions to earlier films and of creating ambiguous. “open” endings. the auteur was a writer using a camera instead of a pen. sophisticated style. Harold Ross. Jacques Rivette (Paris Belongs to Us. Founded in 1925 by its first editor. Charles Addams. Claude Chabrol (Les Cousins. cartoons. while their scripts revealed complex characterizations. 1959). Ogden Nash. ESSAYS. the magazine in its early years was noted for its humorous and satirical pieces. From Truffaut’s perspective. submitted by regular contributors such as James Thurber. Truffaut called for a recognition of the film director as AUTEUR (author).NEW YORK INTELLECTUALS these films exhibited literary rather than cinematic values and. and Pauline Kael. and Peter Arno. George Steiner. John Updike. rather than endorsing the view of literature as superior to film. 1959). The A weekly magazine distinguished by the quality of its FICTION. an account of the aftereffects of the first atomic bombing. Salinger. did justice neither to literature nor to FILM. Lewis Mumford. a title that would imply the equal status of literature and film. While maintaining its urbane.

New York Review of Books. and a recognition of those roots played an increasingly important role in their writing. Sidney Hook. and Philip Rahv used the pages of Partisan Review initially to establish a left wing journal of opinion that clearly distinguished itself from the party line rigidity of orthodox communism. and moving poems celebrated the ordinary (“I like songs about hat-check girls. (See also LIBERAL/CONSERVATIVE IMAGINATION. By the time of the student disruptions of the 1960s. THE McCarthy. In subsequent years. Alfred Kazin. Harold Rosenberg. bunions. In the ensuing years their literary criticism reflected interest in major modernist writers such as James Joyce and thinkers such as Sigmund Freud and Friedrich Nietzche. Before ceasing publication in 2003. Influenced by ACTION PAINTING. Later critics identified with the group included Irving Howe. In the 1960s. with occasional special articles. its politics appear to be moderate-to-liberal. these poets emphasized the process of creation rather than its product.NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS. Philip Nobile’s Intellectual Skywriting: Literary Politics and the New York Review of Books (1974) is a behind-the-scenes account of the review. the review soon emerged as a forum for serious. a group of poets based in New York City who opted for a more informal and unpretentious poetic style than that of their contemporaries. whose witty. Founded in 1963 in the midst of a newspaper strike. and Delmore Schwartz. Partisan Review developed an increasingly NEOCONSERVATIVE tone. Lionel Trilling. Their cultural essays frequently focused on popular culture and the role of the artist in American society.” Wolfe’s term for a trendy radicalism popular among certain celebrities and intellectuals at the time. optimistic. they had begun to reject their endorsement of the AVANT-GARDE and the political radicalism associated with it. Dwight McDonald. Kenneth Koch. New York school In the 1950s. The A bi-weekly journal devoted primarily to reviews of recent books. its earlier tradition having been absorbed to some extent by The New York Review of Books. Many of these were the children of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe.William Barrett. Among the group’s prominent practitioners were Frank O’Hara. lengthy discussions of new books and contemporary social and political questions. its political position was mockingly characterized by Tom Wolfe as “the definitive theoretical organ of radical chic. whose professed poetic goal was to be “funny and lyrical at the 290 . elevators. syphilis.) Alan Wald’s The NewYork Intellectuals (1987) details the history of the group. Elizabeth Hardwick. all the old sentimental things”).

Memorable portraits of nihilists in this sense form important elements of Ivan Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons (1862) and Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Possessed (1871–72). Franz Kafka and Samuel Beckett. Among the few writers whose nihilism seems to be absolute. Robert Martin Adams’s Nil (1966) explores the theme of the void in 19th-century literature. and James Schuyler. however qualified an affirmation it may be. justice. 1957) and novels (Malone Dies. the experience of total negation that must be endured in order to emerge with an affirmation of life. Kafka creates ironic parables of human life in which simple existence is guilt. while others view it as the ultimate challenge. No plays incorporate music. Thus Nietzsche embodies the fundamental contradiction of nihilism: it usually results in some paradoxical affirmation of life. whose fixed repertory of plays ¯ has remained unchanged for 400 years. 1952. The first refers to a social doctrine. A broader and more commonly used sense of the term refers to the view of life that sees all existence. nihilism A term that offers at least two definitions. who. 1953). The Unnameable. The Trial (1925) and The Castle (1926). as empty and meaningless. Much of modern literature exhibits an attempt either to overcome or to validate this nihilistic vision. Charles Glicksberg’s The Literature of Nihilism (1975) looks at the nihilist presence in a number of modern writers. unfettered by an internal contradiction. including prevailing ideas of morality. who diagnosed the search for “truth” as an illusion. whose early POETRY anticipated the postmodern sense of INDETERMINACY. including that which rests on a faith in science. Some modern writers defiantly assert their nihilism. is a skilled nature poet. 1951. This type of nihilism endorsed only the truths of science. that called for the eradication of existing social. despite his Manhattan residence. Reduced at times to utter despair and ultimately to madness. dance. and private property. No A highly ritualized form of Japanese theater. and ¯ poetry in austerely beautiful presentations that aim not at representing reality. 291 . filled with black humor. In his two novels.– NO same time”. developed in 19th-century Russia. are its two most gifted exponents. The best-known member of the group was John Ashbery. Beckett’s plays (Waiting for Godot. and political institutions. Endgame. depict a world in which the affirmation of life celebrated by Nietzsche and others is itself negated. The figure that stands at the center of modern nihilism is the 19th-century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. religious. he nevertheless attempted to overcome his nihilistic vision by affirming the strength of the human will and the power of creative art.

Another notable example of the form is Norman Mailer’s account of the “March on the Pentagon” protesting the Vietnam War. nom de plume (pen name) A name adopted by a writer to disguise his or her real name. Writers have assumed pen names for a variety of reasons. The plays are religious in tone. many of them were written by two 14th-century ¯ artists. the account of a brutal murder of a Kansas family and the subsequent flight. and Acton Bell (the Brontë sisters). The Irish poet William Butler Yeats adapted the No form in a number of ¯ short plays. including At the Hawk’s Well (1916) and Fighting the Waves (1929). An excellent anthology of No plays in English is Twenty Plays of the No Theatre. Armies of the Night (1968). Ellis. but now given in acknowledgment of a writer’s entire career. Many women. capture. They strive to achieve a serene. nearly half of those in the current ¯ repertory. noble savage See PRIMITIVISM. and Currer. dating from the ¯ 12th century and still presented at New Year’s celebrations. Of the more than 200 plays in the No repertory. meditative pleasure and peace. A notable example is Capote’s In Cold Blood (1965).NOBEL PRIZE but at creating a mood through visual and verbal imagery. for example. nouveau roman See NEW NOVEL. Nobel Prize In literature. or Buddhism. employed noms de plume to avoid the long-standing prejudice against women writers. Kwanami (1333–84) and his son Zeami Motokiyo (1363–1443). and execution of the murderers.” See NEW JOURNALISM. the national religion of Japan. Keene has also written a general study of the form. nonfiction novel A term coined by the writer Truman Capote to describe a type of writing in which novelistic techniques are used to relate factual events. The Novel as History. edited by ¯ ¯ Donald Keene (1970). No:The Classical ¯ Drama of Japan (1966). an annual prize originally awarded to the outstand- ing work produced during the year. 292 . Examples include George Sand (Amandine Dupin). echoing the doctrines of Shinto. the subtitle of which characterizes the genre: “History as a Novel. The oldest and most widely performed No play is Okina. The latter is the author of close to 100 No plays. George Eliot (Mary Ann Cross).

Although 293 . James Joyce. Thomas Mann. Nathaniel Hawthorne. on a social problem. H. stream of consciousness. the novel achieved its high watermark in France in the work of Honoré de Balzac. Virginia Woolf. The emphasis may fall on a character. The early 20th century saw the formal innovations of INTERIOR MONOLOGUE. the English also initiated the popular form known as the GOTHIC NOVEL. Charles Dickens. Fyodor Dostoyevsky. 1719) and Laurence Sterne (Tristram Shandy. in England with Jane Austen. In the aftermath of World War II. as in the psychological novel. the novel has been declared both dead and reborn in the NEW NOVEL and as a vehicle of POSTMODERNISM in the GRAPHIC NOVEL. Marcel Proust. in Russia with Aleksandr Pushkin. and Leo Tolstoy. Historically the novel developed from the prose ROMANCE and the PICARESQUE novel. and in the United States. Herman Melville. Cervantes’s Don Quixote (1605. and Émile Zola. although recent years have seen the development of the NONFICTION NOVEL. Best able to express the prevailing doctrines of REALISM and NATURALISM. Ian Watt’s The Rise of the Novel (1957) is an exemplary analysis of the impact of social conditions on the development of the English novel. 1615) is an early embodiment of the form. In addition to the era’s novels typified by the work of such writers as Daniel Defoe (Robinson Crusoe. Ivan Turgenev. on action. novel Usually a book-length fictional prose NARRATIVE. 1759–67). and D. Stendahl. as in the sociological novel. Gustave Flaubert. with James Fenimore Cooper. or any combination of these. Mark Twain. Lawrence not only brought the novel into the new century. as in the ADVENTURE STORY. In the 19th century the novel came into its own as the most popular and important literary form. and some novels have been written in verse. William Makepeace Thackeray. and Thomas Hardy. and Henry James. setting a standard imitated throughout Europe. The English novel came of age in the 18th century. they also revitalized and enhanced it. The traditional novel exhibits a fairly detailed PLOT and a number of characters. George Eliot. novel of ideas A novel in which the focus is less on character and action than on philosophical questions that are debated and discussed at length. Wayne Booth’s The Rhetoric of Fiction (1961) explores the interaction of author and audience. Franz Kafka. as is the Countess de Lafayette’s La Princesse de Clèves (1678).NOVEL OF IDEAS nouvelle vague See NEW WAVE. and FREE INDIRECT STYLE and a willingness to speak frankly of sexuality and social oppression. William Faulkner. Sir Walter Scott.

reflected in the French term for such novels. novels of ideas can appear tendentious and thesis-ridden. When the ideas overwhelm the story. Such novels. the task of depicting “the way we live now” has fallen to the NEW JOURNALISM. James Tuttleton’s The Novel of Manners in America (1972) discusses the earlier examples of the form. habits. As a novelist of manners. The American version of the form is best exemplified in the novels of Henry James and Edith Wharton. Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness (1902). Honoré de Balzac. But the relatively stable societies depicted in their novels seem to be a thing of the past. as in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov (1879–80) and Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain (1924). even metaphysical problems.” novella (and its plural form novelle) was used to describe a type of short story popular in the Renaissance. According to Tom Wolfe. 1970). and to the novels growing out of that development such as Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987) and A Man in Full (1998). can ascend to the highest level of fiction. An Italian term meaning “novelty. however. Distinguished 20th-century examples of the form include Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice (1912). and William Makepeace Thackeray. 1981). Trollope followed in the tradition of Jane Austen. roman à thèse (novel with a thesis). and values—play significant roles. and Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea (1952). 1975). Richard Yates (Disturbing the Peace. The main focus of the form is summarized in the title of Anthony Trollope’s novel of manners The Way We Live Now (1875). in the “novel of ideas” they play a central role. one of which is a source of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.NOVEL OF MANNERS most novels contain abstract ideas in one form or another. with the result that the novel of manners appears to have been neglected in favor of questions of moral. novella A term for a story that is longer than a short story and shorter than a novel. In The New American Novel of Manners (1986). and Thomas McGuane (Nobody’s Angel. 294 . Matteo Bandello’s multi-volume Novelle (1554–73) contained 214 such stories. when they successfully integrate characters and narrative action along with ideas. novelette See NOVELLA. novel of manners A type of novel in which the social conventions of a given society—its speech. Jerome Klinkowitz has argued that the form has been revived with an emphasis on the SEMIOTICS of contemporary life in the novels of Dan Wakefield (Going All the Way. Other terms used to describe the form are novelette or simply short novel.

was the first and most influential treatment of the dropping of the atomic bomb. Its finest hour occurred in 1962. the journal strove to loosen the strict bonds of Soviet censorship. including Premier Nikita Khruschev.” Solzhenitsyn’s account appears in his The Calf and the Oak (1974). Shigematsu 295 . A similar effort is achieved in Black Rain (1966. in a state of shock. Solzhenitsyn disparaged Tvardovsky’s efforts. novelle has become the standard German word for a short novel.NUCLEAR WAR In the late 18th century. The view that the bombing had saved thousands of American soldiers’ lives now had to be balanced by the recognition that the bomb had been dropped on civilian targets of no military importance with catastrophic long-range consequences from the effects of radiation. Goethe employed the term novelle to describe a short novel such as his The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774. the first novel to expose the reality of Stalin’s monstrous labor camps. Novy Mir (“Our World”) An important literary journal from 1925 to the breakup of the Soviet Union. The novel opens four years after the bombing. to approve the publication of Alexandr Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. as such. Edward Brown’s Russian Literature Since the Revolution (1982) discusses the controversy. Under the editorship of Alexander Tvardovsky. but as a spokesman for the millions who died in the camps he could not speak well of anyone who had been complicit. accustomed to thinking of the bombing as a triumph of American science. Novy Mir was the organ of the Soviet Writers Union and. continuing today in contemporary Russia. A major aspect of its influence was that its American readers were forced to come to the TEXT from the point of view of the victims rather than the victors. a nonfictional description of the attack from the standpoint of six survivors. officially sanctioned by the government. During the Soviet years. causing a controversy over Solzhenitsyn’s apparent ingratitude. nuclear war The literature of nuclear war is divided between the historical— FICTION and POETRY based upon the 1945 attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki— and the hypothetical. W. The novelist’s reply was that as an individual he was grateful to his editor. trans. which often crosses over into SCIENCE FICTION. in his account of that event. As a result. Published first in THE NEW YORKER —the magazine devoted the entire issue to the book—it left its readers. Some years later. John Hersey’s Hiroshima (1946). 1969) by the Japanese novelist Masuji Ibuse. however indirectly. when Tvardovsky convinced government authorities. with a monstrous regime. As Solzhenitsyn expressed it “Tvardovsky needed that fire-resistant hardness which is cultivated only in the Archipelago of the Zeks [concentration camp prisoners]. the great German writer J. 1787).

trans. satiric film Dr. most significant. and in the RENAISSANCE poetry of Edmund Spenser. with the notable exception of the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. The 1980s saw the beginning of a renewed concern. The novel’s title effectively captures the theme of the perversion of nature—that rain. ary work. many were learning “to live with the bomb. a tragic drama set in a medical station receiving the victims. set in postnuclear Florida. Albert Stone’s Literary Aftershocks: American Writers. In the 1960s and ’70s. 1989). stories in which nuclear catastrophe forms the subject of the novel. the source of rebirth and regeneration. Riddley Walker takes place four centuries after a nuclear attack on England. describes the efforts of three characters to establish a new civilization against what appears to be overwhelming odds. the nuclear war scenario shifted from the historical event to the apocalyptic. Fiskadoro. offered two powerful depictions of a postnuclear holocaust world. numerology In literature. Arthur Clarke’s Childhood’s End (1953). trans. Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker (1980) and Denis Johnson’s Fiskadoro (1985). although never very far. Both novels feature teenage protagonists grappling to restore a lost order. and Walter Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959). who had been exposed to “black rain. This inattention was reflected in the literary output as well. in a world where written language has been all but obliterated.” the radiation-contaminated rain that fell on Hiroshima the day after the bombing. Chernobyl (1986). and Christa Wolf’s Accident (1987.” as the threat of nuclear warfare. in many medieval texts (Dante’s The Divine Comedy). Strangelove (1964). Such patterns are present in the in classical works (Virgil’s Aeneid). receded from consciousness somewhat. In the 1950s. The Chernobyl disaster resulted in a departure from the hypothetical novel and a return to the historical in Vladimir Gubaryev’s Sarcophagus (1986. the incorporation of numerical patterns in a literBIBLE. 1987). a novel recording the impact on the consciousness of a woman writer living in an area in East Germany that will be contaminated by radiation. as examples of the catastrophic capabilities of atomic power. designed to suggest certain meanings. sparked by the nuclear disasters at Three Mile Island (1979) and.NUMEROLOGY Shizuma begins reading the diary he kept at the time of the bombing in the hope he will find information regarding his niece Yasuko. Readers and the Bomb (1994) is a thoughtful survey of the literature that emerged from the bombing of Hiroshima. should become the agent of death. Many of these have become classics of modern SCIENCE FICTION: Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles (1950). The one work that stands out in the period is Stanley Kubrick’s darkly comic. 296 .

an idea reinforced by the inclusion in it of Christ’s statement “I am the Alpha and Omega. the author of Revelation. is presenting a history of the world from beginning to end.” for example. 297 . contains 24 stanzas for each hour of the day. which in turn are based upon the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. His “Epithalamion. and 68 short lines for the sum of the months (12). A. This numerical correspondence suggests that John. which contains 22 chapters. 365 long lines for the days of the year.NUMEROLOGY One example of biblical numerology is the Book of Revelation. and seasons (4) of the year. he had each sonnet correspond to the successive days in the liturgical calendar. weeks (52). In his SONNET sequence the Amoretti. who employed numbers in almost all of his poems.” the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. corresponding to the 22 books of the Old Testament. but scholars have not as yet fully deciphered them. The most striking example of its use is in the poetry of Edmund Spenser. There is even evidence to suggest the presence of number symbols in his epic The Faerie Queene. Kent Hieatt’s Short Time’s Endless Monument (1960) is the pioneering study of Spenser’s use of numerology. The practice of number symbolism was revived in the Renaissance.

Hamlet’s mother.” While few have accepted Eliot’s view of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.ååå o å objective correlative A term coined by T. the term enjoyed considerable popularity in the 1940s and ’50s among practitioners of NEW CRITICISM. S. obligatory scene A term in DRAMA. a description of a fire truck moving through the city on a rainy evening. Examples include the chase sequence in a FARCE. S. first expressed in Imagism. T. to describe a scene conventionally required by the GENRE of the play or film in which it occurs. 298 . As a result. is an object. Eliot concluded. Eliot’s essay “Hamlet and His Problems” is included in his The Sacred Wood (1920). An outstanding example of an objectivist poem is Williams’s “The Great Figure” (1921). objectivism A movement among American poets that began in 1931 as a further development of IMAGISM. adapted from the French scène à faire (scene to do). Eliseo Vivas’s Creation and Discovery (1955) contains a detailed critique of the objective correlative. the play. . away from the subjectivism of Romantic poetry. . This principle was to be developed further in the movement known as PROJECTIVISM. Eliot used the term in an essay called “Hamlet and His Problems.” in which he maintained that Hamlet’s inner turmoil was objectified in the play in the person of Gertrude. or the shootout in a WESTERN.” This principle marked a further step in the direction. Eliot to describe an AUTHOR’s need to represent a character’s internal emotion as an objective person or thing. who argued that “the poem . Its leading figure was William Carlos Williams. an object that formally presents its case and its meaning by the very form it assumes. rather than being a masterpiece. Eliot argued that Gertrude herself is too bland and banal a character to serve as an adequate objective correlative of Hamlet’s feelings. is “almost certainly a failure.

in which he outlines his ideas of cyclical recurrences every 2. Yeats explicitly detailed his occultist philosophy in his A Vision (1925). B.” in praise of the Irish uprising in 1916. William Blake and William Butler Yeats. alchemy. W. H. Nevertheless. Prospero’s renunciation of magic might stand as a symbol for the replacement of the oldworld view by modern science in the 17th century. the term occult refers to the presence of magical. The pre-modern mind took for granted a close harmonious relationship between the order of the universe and human experience with “man as the measure of all things. in which the magician Prospero controls and dominates the action of the play. such as The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1791). Western literature from classical times to the RENAISSANCE exhibited strong occult strains. or supernatural influences in a literary work. Literature and the Occult. edited by Luanne Frank (1977). is an example of occasional verse. occultism did not disappear entirely. Auden’s “On the Death of Yeats” (1939). Andrew Marvell’s “An Horatian Ode Upon Cromwell’s Return From Ireland” (1650). Other famous examples include Ben Jonson’s “On Shakespeare.” written as a dedicatory poem to the FIRST FOLIO (1623). Blake’s prophetic books. exhibit a wide range of mystical and visionary thought. Many of these were based on a world view that assumed correspondences and analogies between humankind and nature. Walt Whitman’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed. 299 . a notion powerfully expressed in his great poem “The Second Coming. and W. astrological influences.” Thus the world was literally a magical place. Broadly defined in this way. and NUMEROLOGY. however. is a collection of essays on various aspects of the subject. It is manifest in the work of at least two great poets. such as a national holiday or the death of a celebrated person.” written in response to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. magic. evident in stories and folklore dealing with witchcraft.” abjure his magic. See OTTAVA RIMA. mysterious. A literary work that might stand as the culmination of this world view is Shakespeare’s The Tempest. occult.” A figure associated with modern occult literature in a less acceptable sense is the English poet Aleister Crowley. the In literature. which he described in his The Diary of a Drug Fiend (1922). At the conclusion.OCTAVE occasional verse Poetry written in response to a historical occasion or in commemoration of a public event. Yeats’s “Easter 1916.000 years. in order to re-enter the ordinary world. Prospero promises to “drown his book. octave A poetic stanza containing eight lines. famous for his dabbling in black magic rituals.

As Stanford phrases it. not without courage. written to commemorate athletic victories.C. contrived to blacken Ulysses’ character for the next fifteen hundred years. In English poetry there are three types of odes: the Pindaric. were sung by a chorus. a pro-Trojan bias to the depiction of the Greeks. Odysseus plays an important role in the Iliad and is the central figure in the Odyssey. In the Iliad he is depicted as shrewd. the Horatian. and exhibiting self-discipline to conform to the heroic code of the poem’s warrior world. . the intelligent survivor. encounter Ulysses.).C. Stanford. This appears to be the view of later Greek authors such as Sophocles in his Philoctetes and Euripides in his Hecuba. and the irregular. represented as a tongue of flame. Here Dante creates a new ending to Homer’s account. many readers think that his penchant for lying and secrecy and his suspicion of his wife. diminish his heroic stature. whose poems. universal archetype. are more personal and reflective. Odysseus/Ulysses theme The most complex and interesting of the Homeric heroes. Examples of these types of odes in English POETRY include Ben Jonson’s “Ode to Sir Lucius Cary and Sir Henry Morrison” (Pindaric). John Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn” (Horatian). serious manner.” Carol Maddison’s Apollo and the Nine: A History of the Ode (1960) is a useful survey of the form. of course. Two notable modern American odes are Allen Tate’s “Ode to the Confederate Dead” and Robert Lowell’s “For the Union Dead. according to the scholar W.) In the 26th canto of Dante’s Inferno. The irregular ode.ODE ode A lyric poem of any length that addresses a person or treats a theme in a dignified. Both types employed regular stanzaic and metrical patterns. Odysseus became known by his Roman name Ulysses. after the Roman poet Horace (65–6 B. and William Wordsworth’s “Ode: Intimations of Immortality” (irregular). but that his thirst for knowledge and adventure led him to continue sailing beyond the Pillars of Hercules. Ulysses explains that he did not go home. the hero as thinker. the poet and his guide. “Virgil .” (From the Roman era on. permitting variation. B. associated with the 17th-century English poet Abraham Cowley. broke with the tradition of regular stanzas. From these origins he has emerged as a distinctive. since Romans traced their origins to the Trojan refugees led by Aeneas. Virgil. . the prescribed limit of exploration. however. In the Odyssey. In Virgil’s account of the Trojan War in Book II of the Aeneid there is. As a result. The Pindaric ode is named after the Greek poet Pindar (fifth century B. The Horatian odes.). Penelope. only to be drowned in a whirlwind. “Ulysses now becomes a symbol of sinful desire for 300 .

where he dies peacefully 301 . Shakespeare assigns Ulysses two major speeches: the “degree speech” (1. where he organizes the overthrow of King Minos’s dynasty.145–89). When Joyce was asked what he thought of Odysseus. wanderers longing to experience the world at large. the restored wanderer beginning to feel restless. the two figures live parallel lives in radically different spheres. a wallet at its back”).ODYSSEUS/ULYSSES THEME forbidden knowledge. Another powerful poetic representation of complexity is evidenced in Alfred. “a good man. He accomplishes this at his next stop. “To strive. at a closer look. a poetic sequel to the original. to seek. making his way around the city of Dublin on a single day. courageous when the occasion arises. His first stop is Sparta. Odysseus’s motive is not erotic but political. although not endorsing his character. given to weaknesses of the flesh.3. to return home. Ulysses is determined “to follow knowledge like a sinking star” and concludes with its famous exhortation. lest it be plunged into anarchy. and not to yield.” Dante’s view of Ulysses as a FAUST (see FAUSTIAN THEME) figure. Still unsatisfied. in which Ulysses urges Achilles to reenter combat to avoid being forgotten (“Time hath. James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922) and Nikos Kazantzakis’s The Odyssey (1938). both intellectually curious. From there he sails to Egypt.3. His last journey takes him to Antarctica. 1904. Kazantzakis’s sequel echoes the Dante/Tennysonian view of the character. however. Leopold Bloom.” In Leopold Bloom he created a good man and one of literature’s great characters. and the rhetorical gem (3. adaptable. Joyce’s Ulysses continues. As the 33.78–137). In Troilus and Cressida. he abandons the active life. They combine to suggest a conservative figure and a keen psychologist. At first glance. regardless of the critical weather. continuing onward into Africa in search of the source of the Nile.333-line poem opens. He wishes to employ Helen’s symbolic value for political purposes. June 16. to find. to maintain its position as one of the greatest novels of modern and postmodern times. sails away from Ithaca. They are both exiles from their true home. but primarily impelled. Crete. above all. from which he escapes with Helen. my lord. No small part of its appeal and of the author’s genius is the transformation of the epic hero into a modest Jewish advertising canvasser. which evokes the Faustian image that Dante suggests. he replied. but it is no sooner finished than it is destroyed by a volcanic eruption. bored living with bloated Menelaus. Lord Tennyson’s poem “Ulysses” (1833). becoming a holy man. he plans to build an ideal city. in which he pleads the case for a hierarchical order in society. vowing never to return. resourceful. Left alone. lent it a greater dignity than Virgil’s wily trickster. the contrast could not be more extreme.” All of these partial perspectives on the Ulysses myth contributed to two remarkable 20th-century representations.

as a young man. Lacan’s view has played a key role in recent FEMINIST CRITICISM. in turn loses her to a suitor. a number of commentators discovered the Oedipal pattern underlying literary texts as in D. His final place as holy man makes the final movement from heroic warrior. The Oedipal complex plays a key role in the revision of Freud developed by the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. Stanford’s The Ulysses Theme (1954) offers an illuminating survey of the history of the hero. For Freud the universal appeal of the Oedipus story confirmed the universality of its underlying theme. “the last cage” imprisoning the mind. Freud chose Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. According to the critic William Kerrigan. Lacan suggests that the Oedipal phase of a child’s development coincides with the entry into the “symbolic order. Subsequently. the complex reemerges at two later stages of a man’s life: when. Freedom is. Harold Bloom’s theory is developed in a number of his 302 . Only death can release him from that cage. The Oedipal theme is given a unique twist in Harold Bloom’s argument that the “strong” poet (and critic) engages in a conflict (see AGON) with a great writer of the past. he wins from another father “a successor to his original love object” and when. Freud suggested that Shakespeare’s Hamlet illustrated the presence of the Oedipal conflict in its main character—and implicitly in its AUTHOR. He finds it in death. Oedipal complex The theory advanced by Sigmund Freud that very young children experience an intense love for the parent of the opposite sex and a consequent hatred and fear of the other parent. If this emotion is not resolved in childhood. 1949) by his disciple Ernest Jones. W. as a father of a daughter.” Lacan’s term for the child’s acquisition of language. To illustrate his theory.OEDIPAL COMPLEX alone on an ice cap. the tragedy of a man who unwittingly killed his father and married his mother. H. The last two phases constitute a key theme of COMEDY. restless wanderer and political force in his search for freedom. This process results in the repression of the child’s prior identification with the mother and the decentering of individual identity. the very title of which summarizes the conflict. whom they view as a rival. B. in an early example of PSYCHOANALYTICAL CRITICISM. he. whom he first misreads and later rewrites. for absolute freedom does not exist. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers (1913). as Kazantzakis’s translator Kimon Friar phrases it. it becomes a determining factor in later adult life. For a critique of the Oedipal theory and its influence see Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s Anti Oedipus (1983). Freud’s observation was developed into a full-length study (Hamlet and Oedipus. As a consequence of Freud’s insight.

Scandinavian invaders settled in parts of the country and contributed to the linguistic mix. a venue for experimental fare. Alfred’s greatest legacy is the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. represented by theaters such as La Mama and the Ridiculous Theater. Kerrigan’s comments appear in “Life’s IAMB” in Memory and Desire. but soon spreading to small theaters throughout the city. The era is also distinguished by religious verse. whose reign was marked by the unification of England. staged in 1956 by the Circle in the Square Theatre. As a language. An important prose writer was the monk Aelfric. In literature the most celebrated Old English work is the epic Beowulf. Eventually. was a milestone in the development of off Broadway. L. composed some time in the eighth century. whom they displaced. Saxons. mixed with that of the Celts. Randolph Quirk and C. Wrenn’s An Old English Grammar (1958) 303 . alliterative verse. as well as revivals of classics. notably The Anxiety of Influence (1973). a history of England from the Roman invasion to the fifth century. Among works translated from the Latin. The production of O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh. more experimental alternatives to commercial Broadway theaters in New York City. The only complete folk epic in English literature. giving birth to off-off-Broadway. Old English was based upon the vernaculars of the Angles. Old English A term for English language and literature dating from the fifth century to the Norman invasion of England in 1066. Commissioned by Alfred in 890. Stanley Greenfield’s A Critical History of Old English Literature (1966) surveys the poetry and prose of the period while David Wilson’s The Anglo-Saxons (1971) provides a historical context. ed. off Broadway began to assume a more traditional and commercial character. Centered in Greenwich Village. Kathleen Woodward and Murray Schwartz (1986). Later in the ninth and 10th centuries. episodic account of the feats of the warrior Beowulf. the earliest extant English lyric. German tribes that invaded the country in the fifth century. the most important was Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People (731). the Chronicle was continued and updated until the 12th century. Off Broadway emerged as an important outlet for theatrical experimentation in the years following World War II. the movement presented various forms of AVANT-GARDE drama. off Broadway A term for the less expensive. such as Caedmon’s Hymn. such as Eugene O’Neill. whose Catholic Homilies (989–94) and Lives of the Saints (996) exhibit rhetorical mastery and piercing intelligence. One prominent translator was King Alfred (848–99). written in unrhymed. Beowulf is a gloomy.OLD ENGLISH books. and Jutes. and neglected plays by celebrated contemporary playwrights.

Frequently taken to be the “voice” of the author. It is used. Witness these lines from Alfred. 1988) looks at the dramatic dimension of the form. it deals with the question “Why is there something rather than nothing?” Heidegger’s ontological orientation has played a prominent role in the modern development of HERMENEUTICS. As formulated by the German philosopher Martin Heidegger. The LIBRETTO or “book” of an opera is always subordinated to its music. such as bang. opera A musical DRAMA in which all of the dialogue is sung. the omniscient narrator is the most common type of storytelling. which contained chanted dialogue. Old Vic A theater famous in the 20th century for its productions of Shakespeare’s plays. And murmuring of innumerable bees. Operetta played an influential role in the development of the modern MUSICAL. the study of being in general. frequently regarded as an aspect of metaphysics. see POINT OF VIEW. Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf (2002) is a recent excellent modern English version of the epic. The term is also used to describe a group of words in which sound and sense reinforce each other. but its modern form was developed in RENAISSANCE Italy. Opera traces its roots back to classical Greek drama. Sir William Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan. From 1963 to 1976. See ROYAL NATIONAL THEATER COMPANY. and hiss.OLD VIC is a useful guide to grammar and syntax. zap. in most of the novels of Charles Dickens. See DASEIN. 304 .” which capture the sounds made by doves and bees: The moan of doves in immemorial elms. For other types of narration. NARRATOR onomatopoeia A word whose sound hints at its meaning. Lord Tennyson’s “The Princess. Joseph Kerman’s Opera as Drama (Revised Edition. under the direction of Laurence Olivier. and Franz Lehar. operetta A form of light or comic opera in which the dialogue is spoken. omniscient narrator A term for a type of FICTION in which the third-person has complete knowledge of the actions and thoughts of the characters. It achieved great popularity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the works of Johann Strauss. it served as the headquarters of the British National Theatre Company. ontology In philosophy. for example.

Even the concept of a climactic linear PLOT (as outlined. we are entering a new phase of human history which he characterized as the GLOBAL VILLAGE. such as their heavy reliance on formulaic thought and expression (what a literate mind would regard as clichés). and the various experimental techniques associated with POSTMODERNISM reflect the influence of an electronic culture. studied by Albert Lord (A Singer of Tales. ROMANCE.) Oral/literate distinctions have had a significant impact on educational questions as well. is an oral form. a chirographic one.” as distinguished from the orality of preliterate cultures. to an electronic culture in an attempt to measure the influence of technological innovations on the forms and nature of literature. The EPIC. sound. authorship. The great majority of the world’s literature has been the product of oral cultures. 1979). Some of its implications were evident in the work of Marshall McLuhan. 1960) and the African epic. Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. repetition. formulas. These and many other studies of oral literature focus on its essential features: mnemonic devices. who argued that. Walter J. a product of print culture. concrete thinking. use. abstract thinking) with that of oral culture (cyclicality. for example. epithets. Such a society will presumably incorporate features of literate culture (linearity. visuality. looks at television culture as one of “secondary orality. the NOVEL. Ong. in FREYTAG’S PYRAMID) is alien to oral literature. Included within that category are many great masterpieces that cannot be fully understood without an awareness of the oral/literate distinction. Beyond this specific interest lies the question of the distinctions between oral and literate societies and their importance in the immediate future. were viewed through the lens of literacy until the 1920s. and thought between oral and written literature. including SerboCroatian epic poetry. most recently. and syntactic structures that feature “adding on” rather than subordination (in grammatical terms.ORALITY/LITERACY orality/literacy A pairing of terms designed to emphasize the distinctive dif- ferences in form. These strictly literary concerns form a part of some of the large issues that are at stake in viewing history from the perspective of orality/literacy. compound rather than complex sentences). when the American scholar Milman Parry demonstrated that the essential features of these epics were rooted in oral characteristics. McLuhan’s former colleague. is a hotly debated 305 . for example. Parry’s work has been extended to a variety of areas. analyzed by Isidore Okpewho (The Epic in Africa. and. Recent commentary has examined the stages of development from an oral to a chirographic (manuscript) to a print. which relies on an essentially episodic structure. for example. as a consequence of the dominance of television. The widely held impression that writing skills have deteriorated. and with it cognitive capacities for abstraction and analysis.

Said’s work is a powerful critique both of Western scholarship and its interconnections with the imperialist designs of Western nations. is innate. if not already here. contains the complete text of Coleridge’s description of organic form. on the other hand. and John Austin. Implicit in the second sense of the term. The term was originally employed by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in defending Shakespeare from neoclassical critics’ charges of formal flaws in his plays. This development is opposed to the view that form is imposed from without. a term used to describe Western schol- arship’s dealing with the Orient. 1960). what are the various “literacies” they will need to acquire? Milman Parry’s work is available in The Making of Homeric Verse: The Collected Papers of Milman Parry (1971). it shapes as it develops itself from within. Coleridge argues that Shakespeare’s works exhibit “organic” rather than “mechanic” form: “The form is mechanic when. Among the (primarily British) philosophers associated with this approach are Gilbert Ryle. Walter J.ORDINARY LANGUAGE subject in the society at large and within the field of COMPOSITION STUDIES.. Raysor (2 vols. we impress a predetermined form. second edition. this debate touches upon questions concerning the technology-driven society thought to be around the corner. According to Said. The organic form. orientalism In its neutral sense. Should we be educating students to assume a more active and participatory role in society? If so. P. Coleridge’s Shakespearean Criticism. particularly in NEW CRITICISM. edited by Thomas M. it refers to Western perceptions of Eastern cultures and social practices. Strawson. Austin is also well known for his formulation of SPEECH ACT THEORY.” The idea of the literary text as a living organism has been an influential concept in the 20th century. particularly England and France. Inevitably. naturally and internally. Ong’s Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word (1982) offers a valuable synthesis of the state of knowledge in this area. In its second sense. on any given material. organic form An argument that a literary work evolves and develops like a plant or other organism. is the implication of bias and misreading on the part of Western observers. ordinary language An approach to traditional philosophical problems through an analysis of the language that frames these problems. and the fullness of its development is one and the same with the perfection of its outward form. F. a major historical benchmark for this process was the invasion of Egypt by Napoleon Bonaparte 306 . a consequence of the influence of the publication of Edward Said’s Orientalism (1978).

Ossian Name given to the alleged AUTHOR of ancient EPIC poems thought to be written in Gaelic. particularly in Germany.” 307 . (See POSTCOLONIAL STUDIES. other See SELF/OTHER. (See also FALL. whose Original Sin (1758) rebuked opponents of the traditional belief. Lewis’s The American Adam (1955) and Ihab Hassan’s Radical Innocence (1961). Lord Byron used it with great success in his Don Juan (1819–24). restructuring. FORTUNATE FALL. Before the exposure of Macpherson’s fraud. Herman Melville. and having authority over the Orient. THE. The 16th-century poet Sir Thomas Wyatt was the first poet to employ the form in English. A prevailing doctrine among both Catholics and Protestants through the 17th century. ottava rima An eight-line stanza (octave) with an a-b-a-b-a-b-c-c rhyme scheme. In its original Italian version each line consists of 11 syllables. However. In fact these poems were fabricated by James Macpherson. “Ossian’s” poems won wide popularity in Europe. Among the defenders of the doctrine was the Puritan theologian Jonathan Edwards.) For a discussion of the conception see R.) original sin The Christian doctrine that Adam’s sin implicated all mankind and that. human beings are born with a flaw or stain that limits our knowledge and our freedom. Said’s book stands as an outstanding example of postcolonial criticism. an 18th-century Scottish poet who claimed that his Fingal (1762) and Temora (1763) were translations of Ossian’s epics. In the 19th century. “dominating. these scholars employed their scholarship in the essential colonialist task. Among modern poems employing the stanza. it is written in iambic pentameter. W. where they exercised considerable influence on the burgeoning ROMANTICISM of the late 18th century. Napoleon was accompanied by a group of scholars enlisted to explain the importance of the East to the West. the doctrine came under heavy criticism with the liberalization of thought among certain Protestant sects during the ENLIGHTENMENT.OTTAVA RIMA in 1798. as a result. and Henry James in the 19th century and William Faulkner and Robert Penn Warren in the 20th century.” and their work set the standard until the present day. As adapted into English. one of the best known is William Butler Yeats’s “Among School Children. B. A number of critics of American literature have argued for the importance of the theme of original sin in the work of Nathaniel Hawthorne.

1831–41) designed to clarify “the relation of the Church of England to the Catholic Church at large. It was published in serial form. the dictionary was completed. John Willinsky’s Empire of Words: The Reign of the OED (1994) offers a history and analysis of the dictionary. Pusey. Oxford Movement A 19th-century reform movement within the Anglican Church (the Church of England). The original title was A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles. who included John Henry Newman. The OED. Alarmed by the degree to which skepticism and materialism had emerged in English religious life. In its emphasis on the medi- 308 .” The dictionary has had a fascinating history. These various meanings would be validated by dated quotations from various writings. an American surgeon “residing” in England. B. The Oxford English Dictionary. the complete edition. confined to a hospital for the criminally insane. H. was published under its new name. in 12 volumes that included a one-volume supplement. In 1933. The complete work now consists of 20 volumes. and R. 71 years after it was begun. After Newman. commonly regarded as a masterpiece of 19th-century English prose. advocated a return to the Catholic rituals of the MIDDLE AGES. Simon Winchester’s The Professor and the Madman (1998) is a poignant account of the relationship between the two men. B. was eventual conversion to Catholicism. who incorporated some of the changes advocated in Tracts for the Times. having integrated within it a number of its supplementary volumes. members of the Philological Society of London began planning a dictionary that would provide a history of every word included in it. Froude.OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY Oxford English Dictionary (OED) A dictionary described by its publishers. the movement was led by E. for Newman and some other members of the movement. as it is commonly known. In 1928. its first issue appearing in 1884. the Oxford University Press. One of his most important and prolific contributors was William Chester Minor. They wrote a series of papers (Tracts for the Times. or a History of My Religious Opinions (1864). John Keble. they formed a friendship through their correspondence. was republished in 1989. E. In 1857. Pusey. Only after many years did Murray discover that Minor was a convicted murderer. it would show the meaning of a word as it first appeared in the language and any subsequent meanings it acquired in the course of its history. Newman recorded this experience in his Apologia pro Vita Sua. The chief editor of the OED was James Murray. as “the most authoritative and comprehensive dictionary of English in the world. Although Murray and Minor had not met. leaders of the movement.” The result.

oxymoron A contradictory term. Have we. such as Milton’s “darkness visible. See also PARADOX. Oxford theory See ANTI-STRATFORDIAN THEORIES. The imperial jointress to this warlike state. With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage In equal scale. now our queen. the movement exerted some influence on the medievalism of the PRE-RAPHAELITES.” employed to highlight an ambiguous condition. Taken to wife.OXYMORON eval roots of the Church. 309 . weighing delight and dole. Claudius employs a number of oxymora to explain his hasty marriage to Gertrude so soon after the death of Hamlet’s father: Therefore our sometime sister. With an auspicious and a dropping eye. as ’twere with a defeated joy. In the first act of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

and often scurrilous language of these pamphlets. I’m Adam” and the complaint. Among them was Robert Greene. separately published.ååå or praise. Greene attacks the newly arrived playwright as “an upstart crow beautified with our feathers . “Able was I ere I saw Elba. p å paean A song of rejoicing.” Greene’s attack offers a taste of the lively. Later in the century. spirited. and . group of words. or sentence that reads the same back- ward and forward. whose Greene’s Groatsworth of Wit (1592) is notable for containing the first printed reference to Shakespeare. Among famous examples: “Madam. An early example are the polemical exchanges of pamphlets between Sir Thomas More and William Tyndale in the early days of the REFORMATION: More defended the traditional Catholic position and Tyndale the then-new creed of Protestantism. 310 . palindrome A word. In the MIDDLE AGES. a pageant was a moveable platform on which MYSTERY PLAYS were performed. . In 16th-century England.” palinode A retraction of something written earlier. pamphlets played an important role in social and literary life. . celebrating a visit of the queen or other dignitary. depicting or satirizing social and cultural conditions. . In the Elizabethan Age. falsely attributed to Napoleon. pamphlets Short works. processional pageants. often used to describe any intense expression of joy pageant An elaborate spectacle or procession. is in his own conceit the only Shake-scene in a country. frequently included small dramatic skits. Elizabethan pamphleteers achieved great popularity. that supposes he is well able to bombast out a blank verse as the best of you. on a variety of themes. A celebrated example is Chaucer’s retraction at the conclusion of The Canterbury Tales in which he asks forgiveness for the “worldly vanitees” of virtually all of his writings. .

determined to marry her off to a wealthy suitor. and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick (1729). In American history. as in the parables of Jesus in the New Testament. Pamphlets also played important roles in the early years of the French and American Revolutions. Usually. In RHETORIC. edited by George Orwell and Reginald Reynolds (1941). language designed more to display the skill of the speaker than to establish an argument. collect notable English pamphlets from the 16th century to the 1930s. I. This conflict was fueled by a pamphlet war. setting the precedent in which all subsequent major political upheavals were accompanied by a profusion of pamphlets. panegyric Extended praise of a subject. none outshines Jonathan Swift’s satirical masterpiece A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of the Poor People in Ireland from Becoming a Burthen to Their Parents or Country. whose most notable participant was the poet John Milton. the first of which included the famous opening line.” British Pamphleteers. Vol. parable A tale designed to teach a moral lesson. the pamphlet includes a number of recipes. edited by Reginald Reynolds with an introduction by A. pantoum A poetic form made up of QUATRAINS. the father of the heroine.PARABLE The 17th century in England saw the conflict between Parliament and Charles I that resulted in the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the COMMONWEALTH PERIOD. J. Twentieth-century examples in English include Donald Justice’s Pantoum of the Great Depression. P. the story involves human beings whose actions are 311 . Among the famous 18th-century pamphlets. Taylor (1951). whose The American Crisis (1776–83) was a series of 16 pamphlets. Milton’s contributions included his Areopagitica (1644). the term is used as a synonym for “epideictic” speech. the name most closely associated with the pamphlet is Thomas Paine. II. a classic plea for freedom of the press. The figure of Harpagon in Molière’s The Miser (1668) is an example of the type adapted to formal COMEDY. “These are times that try men’s souls. As a final touch. in which he suggests that poor Irish children should be killed and sold as food. and Vol. in which the second and fourth lines of one stanza are repeated as the first and third lines in the next stanza. suspicious old man. a stock character who is a greedy. The form was adopted by 19th-century French poets from Malaysian poetry. pantaloon (pantalone) In COMMEDIA DELL’ ARTE. In the final stanza the second and fourth lines repeat the first and third lines of the first stanza.

He argues that “the truth which the poet utters can be approached only in terms of paradox. paradox represents a central feature of POETRY. In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962). paradox An apparent contradiction that asserts a truth. as in the biblical injunction “The last shall be first. and from FABLE. In the view of the new critic Cleanth Brooks. loves from the paradigm of verbs. and for the people. in which the characters represent abstract qualities. in which the moral is unstated because it is presumed to be self-evident. The parable differs from ALLEGORY. the language of a poem is profoundly paradoxical in its emphasis on the reconciliation of opposites. 312 . for example. Brooks discusses the importance of paradox in a series of poems from John Donne’s “The Canonization” to William Butler Yeats’s “Among School Children.” Rosalie Colie’s Paradoxia Epidemica (1966) is a study of the importance of paradox in English Renaissance thought. . The linguist Roman Johnson argued that paradigm/syntagm corresponds to METAPHOR/METONYMY as basic features of language.” In The Well Wrought Urn (1947). paradox is inherent in the nature of reality: “No man needs to search for paradox in this world of ours. The arrangement of the sentence according to the rules of grammar (John in the subject position. the set of possible words from which a speaker chooses to form a statement. parallelism The principle of representing equal ideas in the same grammati- cal form. the terms paradigm and paradigm shift began to appear in every discipline. not least in literary THEORY as it emerged in the 1970s and ’80s. and he will find paradox growing everywhere.” For the Romantic essayist Thomas de Quincey. In the sentence John loves Mary. . . by the people.PARADIGM clarified by the concluding moral. the historian of science Thomas Kuhn maintains that scientific knowledge moves not in a continuous line of development but by occasional revolutionary jumps. It is a frequent feature of religious language. These extraordinary occurrences he characterized as “paradigm shifts. Let him simply confine himself to the truth. paradigm In LINGUISTICS.” In NEW CRITICISM. and is frequently employed as a feature of the PERIODIC SENTENCE.” Parallelism produces a sense of balance and order. Mary the object) is called the syntagm. such as the displacement of the Ptolemaic by the Copernican system or of Newtonian by Einsteinian physics. “government of the people. John and Mary are selected from the paradigm of possible nouns.” Despite Kuhn’s caveat that his theory could be applied only to the natural sciences.

And God said: Be light made. and he divided the light from the darkness.) 313 . Print culture requires more elaborate and flexible structures because it cannot rely on the interpersonal contact of speech to enforce its meaning.’ and there was light. And God saw the light that it was good. and the spirit of God moved over the waters. (See ORALITY/LITERACY. Then God said. when God created the heavens and the earth. the earth was a formless wasteland. published in 1970: 1610 version In the beginning God created heaven and earth. parataxis In RHETORIC. And he called the light Day. God then separated the light from the darkness. God called the light ‘day’ and the darkness he called ‘night. Ong points out that the earlier passage contains nine introductory “ands” as opposed to the subordinating “when. God saw how good the light was. and morning followed—the first day.” and “thus” constructions of the modern text. And light was made. and there was evening and morning one day.” Cleanth Brooks’s The Well Wrought Urn (1947) is a series of essays illustrating new critical principles. ‘Let there be light. Cleanth Brooks.” “then. and the New American Bible. and darkness was upon the face of the deep. and the darkness Night.PARATAXIS paraphrase A restatement in different words of the plot or meaning of a literary text. And the earth was void and empty.’ Thus evening came. clauses or phrases arranged in coordinate rather than subordinate constructions. a characteristic of print culture. a prominent exponent of NEW CRITICISM.” “while. characterized any suggestion that the meaning of a poem could be expressed in language other than that of the poem itself as “the heresy of the paraphrase. 1970 version In the beginning. and the darkness covered the abyss. Walter Ong has argued that parataxis is a feature of oral culture and subordination (“hypotaxis”). the Douay version (1610). produced in a culture with a largely oral tradition. while a mighty wind swept over the waters. In Orality and Literacy (1982). Ong offers as evidence a passage from two translations of the BIBLE. Paraphrases are frequently used in literary criticism as a springboard to critical comments.

The Parnassians advocated the use of traditional verse forms including RHYME. it has come to be seen as an important. such as SOAP OPERA. Modern and Post-Modern (1993). As a result they chose a name that represented a classical ideal. Théophile Gautiér. In the early years of the Christian era. meaning “arrival. Malcolm Bradbury (Who Do You Think You Are? Stories and Parodies. Rabelais parodied the language of SCHOLASTICISM. its hour come round at last. and David Lodge (Nice Work. In the late MIDDLE AGES. As exemplified in two novels. They were also identified with the ART FOR ART’S SAKE movement. even central. Umberto Eco (The Name of the Rose. Parody is an ancient form. Mount Parnassus in Greece was the legendary home of the MUSES. William Butler Yeats’s “The Second Coming. 1983). such as Ernest Hemingway. Dwight McDonald’s Parodies: An Anthology (1960) offers a rich array of parodies from Chaucer to the present. Vladimir Nabokov (Pale Fire. / Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” (See also “LEFT BEHIND” NOVELS. As represented in the fiction of Jorge Luis Borges (Ficciones. example of the principle of INTERTEXTUALITY in fiction. parody appears as an increasingly significant form. calling for a POETRY of control and precision. In recent years. parody has assumed a defining role in the formation of literary POSTMODERNISM.) 314 . Prominent Parnassians included Leconte de Lisle. Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote (1605. the belief that “the end is near. 1962).). is one of the most frequently quoted poems in the English language: “And what rough beast.PARNASSIANS Parnassians A school of 19th-century French poets who reacted against what they took to be the excesses of ROMANTICISM. and François Coppée. parody Imitation of a particular style or genre for the purposes of satirizing it. the parousia was thought to be imminent. 1976).” has played a significant role in literary culture.” for example. A comprehensive study of the subject is Margaret Rose’s Parody: Ancient. Since that time the idea of the APOCALYPSE. Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey (1818) is a parody of the popular GOTHIC NOVELS of her day. 1615) and Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy (1759–67). Aristophanes parodied both Aeschylus and Euripides in The Frogs (405 B. The object of satire may be an AUTHOR with a distinctive style. 1988). or a formulaic structure. parousia A Greek word.C.” used in the New Testament to refer to the second coming of CHRIST. which will signal the end of the world. 1962).

or elegies for departed friends (see ELEGY). A century later. death. Fusion of the Virgilian and Christian elements (intensified by the belief that Virgil’s sixth eclogue contained a prophecy of the coming of Christ) was evident in the various forms pastoral assumed in the Renaissance.” a figure of speech later to be transferred to members of the clergy. pastoral Originally a literary form idealizing the lives of shepherds (the Latin for shepherd is pastor). pastiche In literature. Since 1634. passion play A play dealing with the suffering. and in modern times with images such as “the little house on the prairie” or “Grover’s Corners. Examples include Spenser’s The Shepherd’s Calendar (1590). Empson 315 .C. Philip Sidney’s Arcadia (1590). In the 20th century the term has undergone considerable expansion. more recently used to describe celebrations of innocent country or small town life. a passion play has been performed at Oberammergau in Bavaria. as an acknowledgment of INTERTEXTUALITY.) profoundly influenced subsequent literature. or engaging in poetic contests with each other (see DÉBAT).” the locale of Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town (1938).). natural existence. along with PARODY.C. beginning with the critic William Empson’s Some Versions of Pastoral (1935). Pastiche is now seen. This production has been altered in recent years in response to charges of ANTI-SEMITISM in the original TEXT.Traditionally a disparaging term designed to characterize a work as derivative. and Shakespeare’s As You Like It (1599)—which celebrates the form while occasionally tweaking its nose with lighthearted parodies of pastoral conventions—and The Winter’s Tale (1610). passion plays frequently formed a part of CORPUS CHRISTI celebrations in many European countries. and resurrection of Christ. a text made up of material from other texts. echoed in the 19th century in Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Adonais (1821). Early examples of the form are the Greek pastorals. associated in classical times with the GOLDEN AGE. notably Theocritus’s Idylls (third century B. whose Eclogues (37 B.PASTORAL Partisan Review See NEW YORK INTELLECTUALS. pastiche has assumed a more respectable status with the advent of POSTMODERNISM. Implicit in the idea of pastoral is the identification of happiness with simple. The outstanding adaptation of the pastoral elegy is John Milton’s Lycidas (1637). the New Testament used the metaphor of Christ as the “Good Shepherd. Theocritus’s pastoralism was adapted by the Roman poet Virgil. Originating in the MIDDLE AGES. a lament on the death of the poet John Keats. which established the convention of shepherds whiling away beautiful days by composing love songs.

For an increasingly (sub)urbanized America. Another distinctive sub-genre of American pastoral is the writing on baseball. pathetic fallacy A term coined by the art critic John Ruskin in his Modern Painters (1856) to describe the poetic attribution of human feelings to natural objects.” Among the literature dealing with the subject are Bernard Malamud’s The Natural (1952). Eudora Welty’s The Delta Wedding. J. D. the myth of innocence. New York City. the heart of darkness. W. such as trees and mountains. and the writings of Roger Angell. Ruskin uses the term in a derogatory sense in reference to ordinary poets for whom the fallacy is a sign of careless thinking. In RHETORIC. the evocation in an audience of the feelings of pity and sorrow. 1945. Holden Caulfield’s vision of himself as saving children from falling as they play in a field of rye. Empson’s definition has led to a broader use of the term. 1954) create a world in which the natural and the human exist in fragile harmony. In its negative or excessive form it is identified with SENTIMENTALITY. Frederick Karl’s “The Persistence of Pastoral” in his American Fictions 1940–1980 (1983) provides an overview of the modern American pastoral. Among Roger Angell’s books on baseball is The Summer Game (1972). and The Ponder Heart. 316 . Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye (1951) is often regarded as an “urban” pastoral. particularly in American literature where the WESTERN or novels of the rural South (for example. The pastoral ideal is represented in the meaning of the title. a contradiction justified here by the young hero’s attempt to wrest innocence and honesty from the jaws of corrupt experience. BASEBALL has come to represent the eternal summer of youth. from a pastoral view. Greg’s Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama (1906) is a classic study of the traditional use of the form. pathos In literature and drama. The expansion of the term has extended even into what is. both FICTION and nonfiction. the fallacy can be a powerful poetic instrument. the Edenic garden where the central goal is “coming home.PATHETIC FALLACY saw pastoral as a mode that enables one “to talk about complex people by a complete consideration of simple people”—just as traditional pastoral always implicitly critiqued urban or courtly life by focusing on the shepherd’s life. pathos is associated with EMPATHY and is a part of an audience’s reaction to TRAGEDY. who employ it to exploit the idea of nature as a vital force. W. however. In literature. that for such poets as Shakespeare. He acknowledges. the term is used to refer to the emotional appeal of an argument that supplements its ethical (ethos) and logical (logos) appeals. Robert Coover’s The Universal Baseball Association (1968).

and in the consequent representation of the woman as “the other” in much of the world’s literature (See SELF/OTHER). The Feminist Reader (1989). complex sentence in which the main clause appears near or close to the end. and harass them with violence of desires inconsistent with each other. to fill their mouths with hyperbolical joy and outrageous sorrow. subordinate clauses or phrases. periods. as a seemingly “natural” condition was in fact part of a systematic retention of POWER within the patriarchal system. and Deuteronomy. the biological difference between male and female. to make them meet in rapture and part in agony. Exodus. LITERARY patriarchy Literally. is the business of a modern dramatist. has been extended to the social and cultural sphere of GENDER. Thus. The Hebrew term Torah often serves as a synonym for pentateuch. literary A system for arranging the history and teaching of litera- ture. Tradition has ascribed the authorship to Moses. as in this sentence from Samuel Johnson’s The Preface to Shakespeare (1765): To bring a lover. they argue that the traditional notion of “women’s work. VICTORIAN). Numbers.PERIODS. The names assigned to periods are frequently arbitrary: some derived. which takes as one of its goals the unveiling of patriarchal structures in societies past and present. creating suspense about its outcome. rule by the father and. periodic sentence A long. Feminists argue that many pervasive aspects of patriarchy are disguised by the assumption of natural differences between men and women. Chronologically arranged. edited by Catherine Belsey and Jane Moore. to deliver them as nothing human ever was delivered. For feminists. the difference of sex. patriarchy is evident in the overwhelming prominence of male writers in the CANON. from the names of sovereigns (ELIZABETHAN. some from historical periods 317 . but recent scholarship has discredited this notion. a social system controlled by men. Within literature. The sentence usually includes a number of parallel. to distress them as nothing human ever was distressed. a lady. literary periods provide convenient categories for historically oriented approaches to literature. by extension. Leviticus. perplex them with oppositions of interest. in England.” both inside and outside the home. and a rival into the fable. Patriarchy is a central target of FEMINIST CRITICISM. JACOBEAN. provides a thorough introduction to the topic. pentateuch A term for the first five books of the BIBLE: Genesis. to entangle them in contradictory obligations.

Modern). the term is used to distinguish the speaker in the poem from the AUTHOR. As George Lakoff and Mark Turner explain. from bad to worse. to use insight about ourselves to help us comprehend such 318 . printed at the beginning of the text. In the criticism of lyric poetry. the critic implies that the “I” speaking the poem is a character. or in tragedy from good to bad or. persona A term for a character in DRAMA or FICTION. the move from bad to good.PERIPETEIA (RESTORATION. The chief English and American periods are the following: English OLD ENGLISH (fifth cent. “Personification permits us to use our knowledge about ourselves to maximal effect. By using persona. personification A figure of speech in which human qualities are attrib- uted to an inanimate or abstract entity. occasionally. as in comedy. either.) peripeteia In DRAMA or NARRATIVE. Romantic. The DRAMATIS PERSONAE is the list of characters in a play.–1100) ANGLO NORMAN (1100–1350) MIDDLE ENGLISH (1350–1500) EARLY TUDOR (1500–1558) ELIZABETHAN (1558–1603) JACOBEAN (1603–1625) CAROLINE (1625–1649) COMMONWEALTH (1649–1660) RESTORATION (1660–1710) AUGUSTAN (1710–1750) AGE OF JOHNSON (1750–1798) ROMANTIC (1798–1832) VICTORIAN (1832–1901) EDWARDIAN (1901–1914) MODERN (1914–1950) POSTMODERN (1950– ) American COLONIAL (1607–1765) REVOLUTIONARY (1765–1789) EARLY NATIONAL (1789–1828) AMERICAN RENAISSANCE (1828–1865) REALISTIC (1865–1900) NATURALISTIC (1900–1914) MODERN (1914–1950) POSTMODERN (1950– ) (See also ETHNIC LITERATURE. a reversal in fortune. not necessarily the author.

the story is told through the eyes of the three protagonists. One example of perspectivism in criticism is Stanley Edgar Hyman’s Iago: Five Approaches to the Illusion of His Motivation (1970) in which the AUTHOR offers critical readings of Iago’s character from the perspective of major schools of modern criticism. In Rashomon. In the former. each one contradicting the others. which may or may not be the “truthful” one. a variety of NARRATORs all contribute their individual pieces to the puzzle that is the core of the main character. phallocentrism A term for a mode of thinking and behavior that locates the source of personal or social POWER in the phallus. Petrarchan sonnet See SONNET.” Personification is a common feature of POETRY from Virgil (“the tears of things”) to Emily Dickinson (“Because I could not stop for Death/He kindly stopped for me”) to popular songs (“April played the fiddle”). common events. Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane (1942) and Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon (1950). the term refers to the process of acquiring knowledge by viewing it from different perspectives. However. Charles Glicksberg’s Modern Literary Perspectivism (1970) relates the approach to various modernist texts. A common practice in modern FICTION and DRAMA is to relate the action from more than one POINT OF VIEW or to mix points of view through such devices as INTERIOR MONOLOGUE or FREE INDIRECT STYLE. Finally.PHALLOCENTRISM things as forces of nature. Still another approach is famously associated with two films. In literature and criticism. an eyewitness provides a fourth version. The sense in which the phallus is identical with the penis is the dominant one in the use of the term. where it is viewed as synonymous with PATRIARCHY. abstract concepts. the secondary meaning of phallus—the sexually indistinguishable tissue within the embryo that forms either the penis or the clitoris—suggests that at some 319 . Another technique is to develop an overarching metaphor such as the world-as-stage or life-as-a-dream. A key term in FEMINIST CRITICISM. perspectivism The view that knowledge of a subject is limited by the perspec- tive from which it is viewed. phallocentrism is nevertheless a term of ambiguous reference. and inanimate objects. but none of them is able to penetrate the mystery surrounding Kane’s last words. George Lakoff and Mark Turner’s More than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor (1989) is a stimulating treatment of metaphorical language. Personification is an essential component of ALLEGORY.

Jacques Derrida. phenomenology focuses attention on the experience of the reader. Iser’s description focuses on the conventional codes that govern our reading and influence the preconceptions we bring to a given text. by Husserl’s disciple Martin Heidegger. who argued that a literary TEXT was “concretized” in the act of reading. who described its aim as a description of what is given in experience. Husserl focused on phenomena. that the first character we meet in a story is the main character until we discover otherwise. In its application to literature. The phenomenological method was incorporated into the philosophy of EXISTENTIALISM or. See WRITING. the separation of subject and object. the belief that language is rooted in an authority external to it. Toril Moi’s Sexual/Textual Politics (1985) provides ample discussion of the issue. In the meantime we are constantly “filling in the gaps”—imagining. a position first outlined by the Polish theorist Roman Ingarden. Ingarden’s idea was developed further by Wolfgang Iser. Heidegger employed it to explore a way of knowing human existence and ultimately Being itself. The founder of phenomenology is Edmund Husserl. “gap-filling. For Iser the superior texts are those that force us to revise and reconsider those preconceptions. This is the view reflected in the PSYCHOANALYTICAL CRITICISM of the French poststructuralist Jacques Lacan.” and correct320 . As we go about reading we constantly make assumptions that are later proven to be wrong. In place of the basic distinction of subject and object. phenomenology A philosophical method that describes objects as they are registered in the consciousness of an observer. for example. things as experienced by human consciousness. In this continuing process of making assumptions. Phallogocentrism suggests that this external authority is the phallus. that every aspect of language reflects male dominance and female oppression. One major implication of Husserl’s approach is that it rejected the traditional dualism. phallocentrism is common to both men and women. who set out to give a detailed phenomenological description of the reading process. or at least only partly right. Thus the phenomenological method involved a close analysis of mental processes. Where Husserl had developed a general theory of how we know. that had dominated Western philosophy since the time of Descartes. the leading exponent of DECONSTRUCTION. has taken the idea of phallocentrism a step further in coining the phrase “phallogocentrism.” The term is an amalgam of phallocentrism and LOGOCENTRISM.PHENOMENOLOGY fundamental levels. Existential Phenomenology. as is it more precisely known.

philistine A boorish. philology The historical study of language. one of the most important works of the ENLIGHTENMENT. philosophes A group of 18th-century French thinkers who advanced the principles of rationalism. Also heavily influenced by phenomenological theory has been the so-called of criticism. “concretizing” it in different ways. In the 19th and early 20th centu- ries.” this group treats the literary text as the expression of the consciousness of its author in intersubjective relationship with its reader. phoneme In linguistics. Arnold regarded this new middle class as interested solely in material possessions and therefore as a threat to genuine culture. or THEORY.PHONEME ing those assumptions. See ARNOLDIAN CRITICISM. In biblical times. began his career as a disciple of the Geneva School before switching allegiance to DECONSTRUCTION. the smallest unit of speech that distinguishes one word from another. Matthew Arnold used the term in his Culture and Anarchy (1869) to describe the prosperous middle class that had come to power in industrialized Europe. the analysis of interpretation. the belief in reason as the chief source of knowledge. Hillis Miller. the reader is constructing the text. Known as “critics of consciousness. uncultivated person. the Philistines were a warlike people who co-occupied territory in Palestine and were consistent enemies of the Hebrews. Thus the b in big and the p in pig are phonemes. According to many linguists. In the latter part of the 18th century. Among the early philosophes were Voltaire and Montesquieu. these 321 . Phenomenology bears a close relation to HERMENEUTICS. A phoneme is always seen in relation to other phonemes. the term became attached to the group of thinkers associated with the Encyclopedia (Encyclopédie [1751–65]). Iser’s work has played a major role in the development of READER RESPONSE CRITICISM. GENEVA SCHOOL Robert Magliola’s Phenomenology and Literature (1977) offers a reliable introduction to the topic. the term was used to include in one category the study of both language and literature. Since that time the study of language has been called LINGUISTICS while literary study is designated as either scholarship. Both approaches operate from the basic phenomenological premise of the intersubjectivity of reader and text. One prominent American critic. Wolfgang Iser’s The Act of Reading (1978) provides a phenomenological description of the reading process. CRITICISM. J.

The picaresque gave voice to this class. the act of representing one’s 322 . is that all? Aye all. a picaresque with a religious resolution. Not only did the picaresque contribute significantly to the early development of the NOVEL. to sleep. The opposite of plagiarism is the literary forgery. as well as in France and Germany. the form generally satirizes the characters or societies it depicts. As a result the form found fertile ground in other countries as well as Spain. Alexander Blackburn’s The Myth of Picaro (1979) focuses on the symbolic significance of the hero. the change created a class of vagabonds or beggars. Aye. A notable example of a pirated edition is the first edition of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Usually exhibiting an episodic structure. containing the following corrupted version of the “To be or not to be” soliloquy: To be or not to be.) picaresque A term for a form of NARRATIVE that recounts the adventures of a pícaro (Spanish for “rogue”). The prototype is the anonymous Lazarillo de Tormes (1554). and Thomas Mann’s The Adventures of Felix Krull. there’s the point. a feature that became a defining characteristic of the genre. The form was imitated in the rogue literature of ELIZABETHAN England. Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man (1952). A notable German picaresque was Johannes Von Grimmelshausen’s The Adventurous Simplicissimus (1669). Confidence Man (1954). Among other social disruptions. in which the pícaro moves from one situation to another.PICARESQUE phonemic differences form the basis of language. Examples of the modern picaresque include such distinguished works as Herman Melville’s The Confidence Man (1857). it has had a continued life as a minor form in modern literature. Joyce Cary’s The Horse’s Mouth (1944). offering an outsider’s view of society. To be. which they see as a system of differences. pirated edition An edition published without the permission of the AUTHOR or holder of the copyright. In this respect the picaresque embodies a reaction to the social/cultural conflicts that arose in Spain (and the rest of Western Europe) as it shifted from a feudal to a monarchial society in the 16th century. which was published in 1603. (See STRUCTURALISM. but Mateo Alemán’s Guzmán de Alfarache (1599–1604) is the first to include the picaro as first person NARRATOR. Richard Bjornson’s The Picaresque Hero in European Fiction (1977) traces the form from its beginning through the 18th century. Saul Bellow’s The Adventures of Augie March (1953). plagiarism The act of representing as one’s own the writing of another person.

in which it functions as an expression of irresistible vitality and the dance of language. All that is available is the free play of alternative meanings. In contemporary theory. the questioning of authorial privilege (see AUTHOR) has led to a re-examination of the legal definitions of copyright and plagiarism. Johan Huizinga’s Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture (1950) is a classic study of the importance of play in Western culture. 323 . but for many others the terms are used interchangeably to indicate activity indulged in for its own sake. the philosophical foundations of ROMANTICISM. is a dominant feature of literary POSTMODERNISM. Platonism Ideas developed by the Greek philosopher Plato. Game is rule-governed and structured while play. “For it is in the spontaneous play of his faculties that man finds himself and his happiness. Jacques Derrida’s “Structure. As the philosopher George Santayana put it. exercised a profound influence on Western thought and literature. In contemporary literary study play has become a virtual synonym for DECONSTRUCTION. subversive role in society.” For many of those who have written on the subject. Plato’s teachings. edited by Martha Woodmansee and Peter Jaszi (1990). For the Russian theorist Mikhail Bakhtin. the development of Renaissance HUMANISM. in the carnivalesque and the deconstructionist senses. play A composition written to be performed. The playful. including the theology of Christianity. is a collection of essays on the history of the subject.PLAY own writing as the work of another. The central doctrine of Plato’s thought is the belief in the reality of Ideas or Forms. as the essence of freedom. Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences. play in the form of CARNIVAL serves a serious. is reprinted in A Derrida Reader (1990). a final definitive meaning of a TEXT can never be achieved.” is open-ended and self-reflexive.” an important statement of deconstructionist principles. both in themselves and as they were adapted in NEOPLATONISM. The concept of Platonic Love—the transcendence of mere physical pleasure through the apprehension of the spiritual beauty of the beloved—played a key role in the COURTLY LOVE tradition and in the development of the SONNET. of which the world of ordinary experience is but a shadow or imitation. even the modern theory of mathematics. In the more special sense of leisure. For deconstructionists. The Construction of Authorship. on the other hand. there is an important distinction between play and game. play is conceived of as the opposite of work. as in “free play.

In reaction. Marston and Dekker retaliated with a lampoon of Jonson in Satiromastix (1601). in William Wordsworth’s preface to Lyrical Ballads (1798) to “speak a language really used by men. Poetic diction refers to the special use of language in POETRY. introduced a colloquial diction that was replaced in the late 17th and 18th centuries by a highly artificial and ornate language. For example. however minimal. The plot should not be confused with a simple outline of the events in a narrative. and. The history of poetry in English records the shifts in poetic diction that have occurred in each literary period. In recent years the concept of plot has been examined closely by students of NARRATOLOGY. 324 . an outline such as “Boy meets girl. John Marston and Thomas Dekker.” for example.” Although plot and character frequently are treated as separable parts of a narrative. The term is essentially a synonym for the more commonly used AMBIGUITY. poète maudit (cursed poet) A French term used to describe a writer who is regarded as a social outcast. arrangement. boy loses girl” might be translated into a plot as “Boy meets girl but. these elements are in fact interfused: plot requires characters to enact it. plurisignation A term referring to the capacity of a particular word or text to exhibit a variety of meanings. John Donne’s “For God sake hold your tongue and let me love. boy loses girl. poetaster In ELIZABETHAN drama. The plot portrays events in terms of their impact on CHARACTER.PLOT plot The design and ordering of incidents in a NARRATIVE or dramatic work. in some cases. poetic diction Diction refers to the choice of words used in a literary work. and Paul Verlaine. It was originally used to refer to the 19th-century SYMBOLIST poets. One example of postmodern diction is the effort of the LANGUAGE POETS to produce deliberately distorted words and phrases. The term has been extended to characterize writers as diverse as Edgar Allan Poe and Ezra Pound. Charles Baudelaire. the Romantic poets declared their intention. its order. characters always engage in acts. Arthur Rimbaud. because of his jealous nature. all of whom led lives marked by scandal and excess.” Romantic diction in turn was replaced by the diction of modern poetry. a disparaging term for an inferior poet. vocabulary. Ben Jonson’s The Poetaster (1600) was a satiric attack directed at two rival playwrights. the study of narrative. which strives to incorporate a wide range of language from technical scientific terms to common obscenities.

poetry is marked by three subdivisions—lyric. Hotspur (Henry Percy) was 23 years older than Hal.” In calling for morally appropriate endings. Rymer’s views are available in The Critical Works of Thomas Rymer (1956). Shakespeare chose to make Prince Hal and Hotspur the same age in order to heighten the parallel between the two. common until the 19th century. poetry In its most common use. The term was coined by Thomas Rymer. point of view The perspective from which the action in a story is viewed. For example. when the term was also used to refer to all forms of imaginative writing. See also ETHICAL CRITICISM. printed as prose. Common points of view include: first person in which the “I” of the story is a participant or observer. Historically. Part One. DICTION. whereas “poetic prose” (for example. Poetry in this second sense has been replaced by the term literature.POINT OF VIEW poetic justice The doctrine that a literary work ought to end with the good characters rewarded and the evil ones punished.With the emergence of the PROSE POEM. epic. thus limiting poetry to a type of literature. In Poetic Justice (1996). and RHYME. a disciple of NEOCLASSICISM. except in those cases. poetic license refers to the poet’s freedom to depart from the rules of METER. the distinction between poetry and prose has been difficult to maintain. and dramatic—and by its reliance on sound as well as sense in creating its impact. In its narrower and original sense. edited by Curt Zimansky. without salt or savor. certain descriptive passages in the novels of John Updike) remains PROSE. the freedom granted to writers to manipulate the historical facts of NARRATIVE in the interests of producing a more compelling story. but even here the prose poem exhibits the cadence and rhythms of poetry. the critic Martha Nussbaum has adapted the term to argue that fiction makes available to its readers the feelings of individuals existing on the margins of society and in so doing serves the interests of social justice. Rymer acknowledged that such justice is not necessarily true to life but that literature should be superior to life in the moral sphere. 325 . As a literary type. who dismissed Shakespeare’s Othello as “a Bloody Farce. in his history play Henry IV. any type of literature that employs some principle of METER. In this sense it is distinguished from prose and from nonpoetic DRAMA. poetic license In the general sense.

political correctness represents a form of totalitarian thought control. or do away with. in which the narrative voice (usually identified with that of the AUTHOR) is presumed to know everything there is to know about the characters and action. See also CAMPUS NOVEL. which relates the story from the perspective of a number of characters. in which the story is told from the main character’s point of view. Big City (1984). gender. D. 1982) and Dinesh D’Souza (Illiberal Education. third person the most traditional form of third-person NARRATIVE is that of the OMNISCIENT NARRATOR. 1991). the traditional literary CANON. Peter Lamarque’s Fictional Points of View (1996) examines the subject in considerable detail. as in the novels of Henry James. Gerald Graff develops his position in Professing Literature: An Institutional History (1987). A more limited third-person perspective is that viewed through the consciousness of a particular character. In the broader sense—the sense in which “political” embraces questions of race. on the other hand. This is the technique employed in most traditional novels. argue that the term represents a conservative backlash designed to restore the HEGEMONY of the white. such as Allan Bloom (The Closing of the American Mind. in which efforts to avoid offending minorities and women result in the stifling of free expression. political correctness has been an issue in the debate over the attempts to change. The critics of these critics. to make the debate part of the subject of classroom instruction. as examples of PC. as in Jay McInerney’s Bright Lights. codes of behavior and speech. In 326 .POLITICAL CORRECTNESS second person (rarely used) designed to draw the reader in more closely. To its critics. and class—politics is present in virtually all literary texts from landscape POETRY to such seemingly apolitical novels as J. In literary studies. One influential compromise position is the critic Gerald Graff’s suggestion “to teach the conflicts”—that is. political correctness (PC) A term popularized around 1990 to describe the imposition of liberal or leftist ideas on the campuses of American universities. James Joyce took this process a step further by perfecting the stream of consciousness technique. In Ulysses (1922). Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (1951). They cite. Still another technique is the multiple point of view. it is in effect a novel way of presenting a first-person narration. politics Strictly defined as practices and ideas relating to government. male patriarchy. politics has played an important but limited role in literary history.

Major 20th-century political novels include Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent (1907) and André Malraux’s Man’s Fate (1935). argues for the need to recognize the political content even of fantasy and dreams. since it enables political ideas “to seem to become characters. and Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s CancerWard (1972).” Nevertheless. “a pistol shot in the middle of a concert. 1821) that the poet is “the unacknowledged legislator of the world. extensions and reinforcements of patriarchal power. bringing with it the threat of didacticism and PROPAGANDA? If so. Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon (1940). such as a DETECTIVE STORY.” Among the classic political novels of the 19th century are Stendhal’s The Red and the Black (1830). however. something loud and vulgar and yet a thing to which it is not possible to refuse one’s attention. critics still debate whether overtly political literature constitutes. Popular culture is usually distinguished from “folk culture. the distinction is not entirely clear since texts such as 327 . two penetrating portraits of the revolutionary mind. a WESTERN. George Orwell’s 1984 (1949). popular culture A term describing forms of cultural expression that exhibit wide popularity.” Shelley’s view is consistent with the view of the poet as a visionary who helps to create the future he envisions. it is generally agreed that such a threat is overcome in most successful political literature.” In other words. three indictments of totalitarian socialism. of what he calls the “political unconscious. Dostoyevsky’s The Possessed (1872). in the words of the 19th-century novelist Stendhal.) Fredric Jameson’s The Political Unconscious (1981) is a thoughtful and searching Marxist analysis. is the presence of explicit political ideas an intrusion of abstract ideology into the concrete experience of a literary text. A related distinction is the line between “serious” or “high” culture and popular culture. As Irving Howe maintains in The Political Novel (1957). the NOVEL is the form best suited to the treatment of politics. The most celebrated of the political views of literature is Percy Bysshe Shelley’s argument (in his Defense of Poetry. A leading Marxist critic. the representations of women in literary history are viewed as profoundly political acts.” a term reserved for older cultural practices rooted in the oral tradition of a community. and Henry James’s The Princess Casamassima (1886). In literature. Examples in poetry include Andrew Marvell’s “An Horatian Ode upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland” (1650). or a television SITCOM. Fredric Jameson. a poem that does not so much advocate a single position as measure the necessary price paid for political power.POPULAR CULTURE FEMINIST CRITICISM. (See LIBERAL/CONSERVATIVE IMAGINATION.

which challenges authority by introducing alternative voices into literature. That is. in their view. they argue that a close study of examples of culture should include not just the products themselves but also what use people make of them. “circulated among some feminists as a reinscription of patriarchal values. For the theorists of the FRANKFURT SCHOOL. The result. such as FILM NOIR. Like the Frankfurt School. The individual may. Recent examples include certain Hollywood films.” Thus Madonna is a “text. 328 . but they differ from the Frankfurt School in asserting that popular culture is not a simple case of mindless consumerism by an unquestioning mass. among men as an object of voyeuristic pleasure. allowing popular values an equal voice with those sanctioned by the governmental or ecclesiastical authorities. Instead. An alternative view is that associated with the movement known as CULTURAL STUDIES. a group of Marxistoriented intellectuals who fled Nazi Germany and settled in the United States. was that the spread of popular culture was destroying the last vestiges of independent. These critics saw popular culture as a commodity to be consumed by the population like any other commercial product.” In this respect Cultural Studies is a companion to READER RESPONSE CRITICISM in its emphasis on the role of the reader/audience as the co-creator of the meaning of the text. and certain musical forms such as JAZZ. More recently. infused a literary genre such as the NOVEL with contending points of view. and frequently does. while works of high culture transcend the limitations of time. according to Bakhtin. The historian Lawrence Levine has traced a reversal of this process: the transformation of Shakespeare’s plays from popular to high culture in American society at the turn of the 20th century. The term they frequently employed was mass culture. the traditional view holds that works of popular culture are transient and time-bound.POPULAR CULTURE Shakespeare’s plays and Charles Dickens’s novels were parts of the popular culture of their day. A particularly important popular culture phenomenon is the Russian theorist Mikhail Bakhtin’s idea of CARNIVAL. functioning as the cultural equivalent of its economic practices.” according to the critic John Fiske. Cultural Studies critics argue that popular culture is the site of a negotiation between the individual and the product. The traditional popular carnival. subvert the intended “meaning. popular culture was an arm of capitalist IDEOLOGY. popular culture has been viewed from two contrasting perspectives. critical thinking among the masses. and among many girl fans as an agent of empowerment and liberation. Another interesting aspect of popular culture is the process by which certain popular items become enshrined as high culture. Nevertheless. many of the proponents of Cultural Studies have a leftist or neo-Marxist point of view.

Originally the home of a community of nuns. Port-Royal An abbey in the Chevreuse Valley in France that became the center of a 17th-century Catholic reform movement known as JANSENISM. perverse labyrinth of the inner self. Mikhail Bahktin’s analysis of Carnival appears in his Rabelais and His World (1965). the bishop of Ypres and author of a controversial work on the doctrine of grace that hewed somewhat closely to the position of CALVINISM. Lawrence Levine’s study is Highbrow-Lowbrow (1988). pornography Derived from a Greek word meaning “writing about prostitutes.PORT-ROYAL John Fiske’s Understanding Popular Culture (1989) provides a useful introduction. Pornography has to be distinguished from literature that features explicit sexual scenes which are subordinate to the overall NARRATIVE. Among the pupils of Port-Royal was the celebrated tragedian Jean Racine. Steven Marcus’s The Other Victorians (1966) provides an incisive cultural commentary on the use of pornography in the Victorian age. Here students were taught the religious ideas associated with Jansenius. banned in the United States until a court decision in 1933. In pornography. The issue of pornography has created a controversy within FEMINIST CRITICISM between those who see it as a degradation of women and those who view censorship in general as inimical to feminist interests. whose Provincial Letters (1656–67) and Pensées (1670) defended the community’s ideas. That decision helped to create a standard for distinguishing pornographic from sexually explicit work that exhibits redeeming social or aesthetic value. The best known test of this definition are the novels of the Marquis de Sade (1746–1814). In its brief life Port-Royal won the support of the great theologian and mathematician Blaise Pascal. Central to the discussion of pornography are the shifting standards of what constitutes obscenity and which works call for CENSORSHIP. The Marxist critic Lucien Goldmann has argued that both the Pensées and Racine’s tragedies reflect the Jansenist attempt to define a position somewhere between the Catholic belief in free will and the Calvinist 329 . Jansenism eventually was condemned by Rome and Port-Royal was closed down. the abbey attracted a number of pious laymen and intellectuals who opened a school on the grounds. The most celebrated example is James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922). its buildings destroyed by order of Louis XIV.” the term refers to literature and art intended to create sexual arousal. yet regarded by many contemporary writers as profound explorations of the conflicting. the story is subordinate to the sexual scenes. unquestionably obscene by most standards.

POSTCOLONIAL STUDIES doctrine of predestination. and in the cultures of indigenous populations affected by European settlers. 1992). such as the Australian aborigines. postcolonial studies surfaced in Anglo-American circles with the publication in 1978 of Edward Said’s Orientalism. British Commonwealth. from MARXIST CRITICISM. Rooted in earlier colonial movements such as NEGRITUDE and the writings of Frantz Fanon (Black Skin. postcolonial studies A term for literary and cultural studies that emphasize the impact of the culture of European empires on their former colonies. 1981). The Wretched of the Earth. and Kwame Appiah (In My Father’s House. postmodernism In literature. Well-known postcolonial critics include Gayatri Spivak (In Other Worlds. Where 330 . exhibiting ALIENATION from ordinary life. 1960).White Masks. coherent work of art employing SYMBOL and MYTH. Colonialism and Literature (1988) offers a useful account of the subject. The English title of Goldmann’s study is The Hidden God: A Study of TragicVision in the Pensées of Pascal and the Tragedies of Racine (1964). Henry Louis Gates (The Signifying Monkey. a term used to describe characteristics of some contemporary literature that distinguish it from the literature of modernist literature was characterized by its commitment to the value of a unified. in India and Southeast Asia. Goldmann argues that this conception is. postmodernism celebrates MODERNISM. Wole Soyinka (A Dance of the Forests. As a Marxist. Novelists associated with postcolonial literature include Chinua Achebe (Things Fall Apart.” a critical movement that was a forerunner of POSTSTRUCTURALISM. Terry Eagleton’s Nationalism. 1961). rooted in 17th-century social conditions. in turn. and Salman Rushdie (Midnight’s Children. 1980). 1958). 1987). in varying degrees. 1950. The approach involves the critical examination of European representations of colonial peoples and the production of a “counter discourse” designed to resist the continued encroachment of European/American culture on former colonies. an account of how Western scholarship’s “myth of the Orient” provided the justification for the political imperialism that followed in its wake. Published in 1964. The term encompasses such categories as Third World. Since that time the impact of colonialism has been explored in French-and English-speaking Africa and the Caribbean. Goldmann’s study is regarded as an early example of “French New Criticism. and Middle Eastern countries. These critics have integrated their studies with techniques derived from contemporary THEORY and.

popular culture. Roland Barthes in semiotics. discontinuity. Postmodernism appears to have passed through at least two phases. Michel Foucault in philosophy. The major outgrowth of this position is a radical critique of the “human subject. In literary theory.POSTSTRUCTURALISM incoherence. parody.” The notion of the rational. The second phase was signaled by Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude (1970). In novels such as Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow (1973). and Jacques Derrida. Donald Barthelme’s The Dead Father (1976). where techniques such as MAGIC REALISM provided a bridge between experimentalism and the traditional realistic novel. The poststructuralist “Subject” carries with it a grammatical sense (as in “subject of the sentence”) which reinforces the poststructuralist point: the centers of consciousness that we think of as “ourselves” are linguistic constructs “subject to” the shaping force of language. Jean-François Lyotard in political theory. and Play in the Discourse of 331 . and the principle of METAFICTION. associated primarily with a group of French thinkers. even conflicting ways. edited by Larry McCaffery. Sign. therefore I am”) has been a staple of Western thought since the Renaissance. historical. whose DECONSTRUCTION theory represents the best-known aspect of poststructuralism. at a minimum. derived from STRUCTURALISM but departing from it in certain key respects. and Martin Amis’s Time’s Arrow (1991). and political issues. and plays. unified. poststructuralism An intellectual movement. postmodernism has combined formal experimentalism with powerful social and cultural criticism. Its most celebrated practitioners have been Jacques Lacan in psychoanalysis. offers a useful “bio-bibliographical guide” to the movement. One Hundred Years of Solitude demonstrated that the playful element of postmodernism could be effectively wielded to explore social. Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987). Despite a wide range of specific differences. Postmodern Fiction (1986). the view that meaning is indeterminate since any given TEXT can be interpreted in various. such as Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1967). Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire (1962). a delight in language and the intellectual puzzle reflected in works such as Jorge Luis Borges’s Ficciones (1962). In its earliest phase—identified with the 1950s and 1960s—its characteristic tone was one of PLAY. Julia Kristeva in criticism.” the term poststructuralists prefer to the traditional “self ” or “individual. the poetry of the NEW YORK SCHOOL. Derrida and Barthes have been the most influential figures. Derrida’s celebrated 1966 essay “Structure. these thinkers share. autonomous “I” (as in Descartes’s “I think.

Barthes assumes a basic poststructuralist position: The meaning of a text cannot be determined by tracing it to its apparent source. Foucault maintains that power in action is trans332 . it produced a plodding. not “the meaning. Popular in the verse of the early.” C. which invites passive acceptance. even those in positions of authority are “in power” in an ironic sense. for some liter- ary theorists. Lewis.POULTER’S MEASURE the Human Sciences” inaugurated the poststructuralist critique of structuralism. it is a network of social relations governed by language. Lewis when he referred to mid-Tudor poetry as the “Drab Age. and the “writerly” TEXT.and mid-Tudor period. As a result. Kristeva and Lacan have played important roles in the development of FEMINIST CRITICISM and PSYCHOANALYTICAL CRITICISM. represents the primary base from which to interpret a TEXT. the power that has been assigned in the past to the author must be given over to the reader. “The Death of the Author. For Foucault.” Barthes’s point here is that the term “author” assumes a controlling “authority” who bestows coherence and unity on the text. Richard Harland’s Superstructuralism (1987) is a clear and insightful account of the movement. Barthes argues that the author is merely an effect of the language he or she brings into being. this term. S. captured by the writer C. which requires that the reader be an active producer of meaning. In attacking the traditional idea of the author. Barthes’s contributions to the poststructuralist mode included a distinction between two types of text: the “readerly” text.” but the indeterminate play that is the “pleasure of the text. while Julia Kristeva’s term INTERTEXTUALITY has had a powerful influence on contemporary criticism. Barthes is also responsible for the controversial position summarized in the title of one of his essays. Strains of poststructuralism are evident in recent critical movements. power is not a quality possessed by an individual or a government. who will experience. power In the sense of the ability to exercise control. History of English Literature in the Sixteenth Century (1954). According to Barthes. This position is most prominently identified with the French poststructuralist Michel Foucault (1926–84).” Lacan’s adaptation of Freud constitutes a revolution in psychoanalysis. dreary effect. Michel Foucault’s work has exercised a strong influence on NEW HISTORICISM. S. trapped within the web of power. poulter’s measure A poetic form employing rhyming lines of 12 and 14 sylla- bles (see FOURTEENER).

which holds that the purpose of art is to enhance and enrich the experience of its observers. pragmatism is associated with the American philosophers Charles Peirce. Marxists seek to expose the dominance (see HEGEMONY) of capitalist discourse operating under the form of liberal HUMANISM. The term is associated with the critic I. The major pragmatist statement on questions of literature and art is Dewey’s Art as Experience (1934). Foucault’s view of power has played a significant role in contemporary MARXIST CRITICISM and FEMINIST CRITICISM and particularly in the development of NEW HISTORICISM. As a movement. For pragmatists the measure of a concept’s meaning lies in its practical value to human beings. the repository of “truth.” but the poet. Edward Said’s “Foucault and the Imagination of Power” in Foucault: A Critical Reader. as a synonym of practical. power and knowledge are intimately entwined with each other. The more general meaning of the term. and that our model for emulation should not be the traditional seer. to be constantly learning. See NEW CRITICISM.” Rorty suggests that literature makes a greater contribution to our culture than traditional philosophy. A. the use of language to determine the proper subjects and objects of knowledge. what is known and what is knowable in a given discipline. Thus art is both an end in itself and a valuable social instrument.PRAGMATISM lated into DISCOURSE. and the novelist. the Elizabethan monarchy and the theater of the time. pragmatism An American philosophical movement which holds that the meaning of an idea is equal to the practical consequences of adopting it. analyzes the place power occupies in Foucault’s thought. In this sense. William James. and John Dewey. The term is also used to describe criticism that operates without any conscious theoretical orientation. 333 . whose Practical Criticism (1929) had a profound impact on the teaching of literature in the United States and Britain from the 1930s to the 1960s. has developed from this philosophical position. edited by David Hay (1986). New Historicists generally employ Foucault’s conception in analyzing the power relations between institutions—for example. the creator of new metaphors. Feminists see the power relationships of men and women embedded in a language in which “man” can be used to stand for all human beings and the masculine pronoun (he/his) to represent any individual. who argues that art offers “more and more possibilities. This position has been refashioned by the contemporary pragmatist Richard Rorty. Richards. practical criticism A type of criticism that emphasizes the analysis of a particular TEXT. enabling them to cope with life more effectively.

and Wallace Stevens. Rorty’s views have won wide acceptance by a number of American critics. whose theory of the SIGN was to have a profound impact on Structuralism. Henry James’s valuable prefaces to a collected edition of his novels (1907–9). William Wordsworth’s preface to the second edition of Lyrical Ballads (1800). the use of self-referential language within a TEXT. Joseph Conrad’s preface to The Nigger of the “Narcissus” (1897). A key figure in the group was the linguist Roman Jakobson. Richard Rorty’s views are available in his Consequences of Pragmatism (1982) and Philosophical Papers. Significant prefaces include Samuel Johnson’s preface to his edition of Shakespeare’s plays (1765). according to Rorty. and 334 . Merquior’s From Prague to Paris: A Critique of Structuralist and Post-Structuralist Thought (1986) explores the role of the Prague School in the development of Structuralism.PRAGUE SCHOOL the creator of characters who are unique and diverse. Gertrude Stein. “do an enormous amount for equality and freedom. who developed the concept of FOREGROUNDING. précis A summary of the PLOT of a literary work. whose characters. scope. bringing with him the ideas of RUSSIAN FORMALISM. As an example Rorty cites Charles Dickens. in which he delineates his artistic creed. who emigrated to Prague from Moscow. preface The introduction to a literary work. J. antifoundationalist world. I and II (1991). in their distinctive idiosyncrasies. Richard Poirier argues that the roots of pragmatism extend back to Ralph Waldo Emerson and that Emerson’s pragmatist INFLUENCE is evident in the poetry of Robert Frost. The Prague School extended the work of the Formalists by integrating it with the linguistic theories of Ferdinand de Saussure. Vols. G. See also ANARCHISM. commonly regarded as the manifesto of Romanticism. In Poetry and Pragmatism (1992). Another important theorist of the Prague School was Jan Mukarovsky.” in that they teach us “to be comfortable with a variety of different sorts of people. or intention of the work. Prague School Term for a group of linguists at Charles University in Prague from 1926 to 1948 who laid the groundwork for French STRUCTURALISM. frustrated by what they see as the dead end of POSTSTRUCTURALISM and DECONSTRUCTION.” Art. represents as close to a meaningful morality as is possible in a de-centered. in which the author explains the background. Giles Gunn’s Thinking across the American Grain (1992) traces the “intellectual renaissance” of pragmatism in contemporary theory.

and dreamlike mood. prison literature As a literary theme. whose spare.PRISON LITERATURE George Bernard Shaw’s wide-ranging. simple prose style created the literary equivalent of primitive art. This assumption is present in many literary periods. criminal. Swinburne. and William Morris. particularly in the influential writings of the 18th-century French philosopher JeanJacques Rousseau. A typical pre-Raphaelite poem is Dante Rossetti’s “The Blessed Damozel” (1850). reflected in the popularity of PASTORAL and in various forms of ROMANCE. Their poetry strove to capture the sensuous religious character of pre-Raphaelite painting. In literature the movement is associated with the POETRY of Christina and Dante Rossetti. depicting people subjected to extreme pressures. Primitivism assumed a central role in the doctrines of ROMANTICISM. innocent victim. in the writings of Ernest Hemingway. primitivism A belief that simpler so-called primitive societies are superior to those of the contemporary world. debtor. have brought into existence a number of sub-genres: political. less sophisticated form of painting than that which followed in the wake of the RENAISSANCE painter Raphael (1483–1520). Rousseau argued that the “natural man” is essentially good but in time becomes corrupted by civilization. This conception played a key role in the Romantic veneration of nature found in the idea of the “Noble Savage. The pre-Raphaelites called for a simpler. all testifying to the fascination the subject holds for readers. pre-Raphaelites A group of English artists who in 1848 founded a movement protesting the conventional academic art of the time.” the belief in the innate dignity and goodness of primitive people (see NATURE/ART).” these poets contributed to the development of AESTHETICISM at the close of the 19th century. Primitivism inaugurated a central theme in 19th-century American literature. The popularity of these themes. reflected in the portrayal of Native Americans in the novels of James Fenimore Cooper and Herman Melville and in the philosophy and practice of Henry David Thoreau. provocative. prisoner of war. This association of the natural and the good continued to play a strong role in 20th-century American literature—for example. prison or imprisonment appears both in autobiographical accounts by people who have been imprisoned and as an occasion in fiction to explore the psychological and/or social dimensions of enforced confinement. religious feeling. and entertaining prefaces to his plays.C. Characterized by critics as the “Fleshly School of Poetry. A. with its combination of sensuous detail. 335 .

The plot of The Hostage bears a close relation to one of the best-known stories of the Irish short 336 . After his release. Almost a happy day. whose publication in Paris in 1973 led to the author’s arrest and expulsion from the Soviet Union. cast as a dramatic monologue delivered by Francis Bonjonist. whose chief character. which depicts a representative “good” day in the life of a prisoner: “A day without a dark cloud.” Notable English examples of prison literature include Lord Byron’s narrative poem The Prisoner of Chillon (1816). Behan used his experience in Mountjoy as the basis of The Quare Fellow (1954). but morally tortured by the realization that their work benefits the regime they despise. the official lies and corruption that the volumes record. he was released in a general amnesty. Using both FICTION and nonfiction. The enormity of the crimes. he returned to Ireland. the infamous prison camps where millions of Soviet citizens perished. camps of which ranged across the length of the country. in the words of scholar Edward Brown. “serves to undermine our normal notion of civilized limit and tears to shreds all comfortable stereotypes. a depiction. its prisoners are relatively well-treated.PRISON LITERATURE Prison literature has a particularly distinguished lineage in Russia. Solzhenitsyn’s next novel. based upon the few years he spent as a prisoner in Siberia. (1968. in raucous comitragic prose. Solzhenitsyn set the stage for his relentless exposure in his novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962). Behan’s The Hostage (1958) considers another form of imprisonment: A British soldier is held hostage by the IRA in an effort to prevent the execution of one of their own men. The First Circle. who recognizes that honor and dignity are essential to survival. As a result. An entirely different type of prison is brought to life in Charles Dickens’s Little Dorrit (1847). 1978) (the title is a reference to the least horrible of the circles in Dante’s Inferno) deals with a prison that also serves as a research laboratory. Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel The House of the Dead (1861). His imprisonment formed the subject of his memoir Borstal Boy (1958). The Irish playwright Brendan Behan spent two years in an English borstal (reform school) for his involvement with the Irish Republican Army.” Ivan is an honorable man. to be arrested there for his participation in an action in which a policeman was wounded. forming an imagined archipelago. is the prototype of the novels that were to emerge in the era of Joseph Stalin’s reign in the 20th century. Sentenced to 14 years in Dublin’s Mountjoy Jail. a 16th-century French satirist. works for years in a desperate effort to free her father from the Marshalsea debtors’ prison. Amy Dorrit. is an enormously detailed history of the Gulag Penal System. of a prison on the evening before an execution. Dostoyevsky’s 20th-century descendant in this respect is Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. who recorded the horror of the Stalinist GULAG. His The Gulag Archeipelago. where Dickens’s own father had been imprisoned when the novelist was a child (see ADVERTISING).

When the book was published. the critic H.” Franklin focuses on those who dealt with prison experience in their writing. For Chester Himes.” She included an account of the effects of imprisonment on her mind in the revised edition of her novel Daughter of the Earth (1935). was convicted of the robbery of $5. Bruce Franklin’s The Victim as Criminal and Artist (1978). Seven years later. covering a six-month period in San Quentin during which futility. thus Franklin does not consider the works of O. In H. who wrote many of his stories while in prison. the condemnation of the American penal system.” Treating “the criminal as artist.” Yet another variation of a British soldier taken as a hostage is reflected in the opening segments of the Neil Jordan film The Crying Game (1992). imprisoned for political acts in New York City’s “Tombs. In his studies of American prison literature.PRISON LITERATURE story writer Frank O’Connor. Henry as a model for future convict authors. Among women convicts a notable name is Agnes Smedley. Braly. becoming in the process a powerful international figure. a horrific account of how Burns. one black. Burns’s description of the brutality of the prisoners’ treatment brought the reality of prison life to a large audience as the book became a best seller. For the period leading up to the 1960s. captured in some early stories and his novel Cast the First Stone (1952). after having established a successful career as a journalist. convicted four times for burglary. Henry (William Porter). Malcolm Braly and Chester Himes. from which he escaped. and was later transformed into an ACADEMY AWARD–nominated film. Less convincing is his application of Marxist themes to his 337 . best known for his detective novels. he was still in hiding. and official abuse of power characterize life in prison. Undoubtedly the most significant example of American prison literature is The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965).80 and sentenced to a chain gang. random violence. a World War I shell-shocked veteran. the most successful of which is On theYard (1967). desperate scheming. “Guests of the Nation. a prison experience as a young black man. Franklin pays particular attention to the novels of two writers. in which the transformation of Malcolm in prison begins with his determination to read with deep understanding. he was recaptured and returned to one of the worst chain gang prisons in Georgia. from which he again escaped. was the author of a number of novels dealing with prison life. one white. particularly in respect to the racism that has characterized its history is effectively documented. though he acknowledges the importance of O. Bruce Franklin designates SLAVE NARRATIVES as an early example of what he calls “the history of literature by convicts in America. One of the best-known accounts of prison life was Robert Burns’s I Am a Fugitive from a Georgia Chain Gang! (1932). left a profound impression on all of his subsequent work.

Later practitioners of the form included George Bernard Shaw (Mrs. the poem and sometimes . is to view it as a product. An example of the questioning of tradition that marked the early 19th century. to characterize plays that have created problems of interpretation for readers and viewers.” Frye identifies Aristotle as the progenitor of the product view. Edward Brown’s Russian Literature Since the Revolution (rev. Northrop Frye speaks of “a distinction between two views of literature that has run all through the history of criticism. The most celebrated name associated with the form is that of the great Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. Eric Bentley’s The Playwright as Thinker (1946) provides a distinctive analysis of the problem play. and Arthur Miller (All My Sons. . and Ernest Schanzer’s The Problem Plays of Shakespeare (1963) offers a controversial approach to the topic. 1982) contains an important chapter on “Solzhenitsyn and the epic of the camps. Lillian Hellman (The Children’s Hour. the view of literature as product and the view of literature as process. a completed construct. 1934). Troilus and Cressida (1602).” problematic In contemporary THEORY. the poet also. An Enemy of the People (the moral individual in an immoral society). 1947). 1893). To focus on a written work as an artifact. This is the perspective adopted in NEOCLASSICISM and NEW CRITICISM.Warren’s Profession. . To view it as a process. are involved.” The product critic sees literature as an aesthetic object. process/product Two ways of looking at literature that constitute the basic terms of a controversy extending back to the classical period. a creative activity that achieves completion 338 . . and Ghosts (religious hypocrisy and venereal disease). and Measure for Measure (1604). Identifying a work’s problematic enables a reader to recognize its limitations as well as its strengths. the process critic as the occasion for a creative response “in which the reader. . In his Anatomy of Criticism (1957). particularly All’s Well That Ends Well (1602). ed.PROBLEMATIC argument. problem play A form of drama that raises controversial social questions. the modern problem play was first developed by the French playwright Alexandre Dumas (the son of the author of The Three Musketeers) in a series of plays attacking social evils. and the third century rhetorician Longinus as the initiator of the process approach. a term used (as a noun) to designate a group of related ideas that represents one aspect or subset of an IDEOLOGY. . Ibsen focused on social problems in A Doll’s House (women’s rights). Shakespearean critics use the term in a different way.

In the 1950s. as “muscular poetry. projectivism A term for a movement among American poets triggered by the poet Charles Olson in his essay “Projective Verse” (1950). Olson invoked a poetry that would restore the lost unity of mind and body. Sherman Paul’s Olson’s Push (1978) analyzes Olson’s poetic techniques. Olson argued for a biological basis of poetry characterized by one of his disciples. prolepsis A term for the anticipation of events that appear later. to his Ithaca. In its place he endorsed poetic principles associated with the theories and practice of Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams (see IMAGISM and OBJECTIVISM). Massachussetts. particularly such process-oriented approaches as READER RESPONSE CRITICISM and ACTION PAINTING. where the teaching of writing is debated by those who emphasize the “composing process” and those who focus on the finished product. and Robert Creeley all served on the faculty of Black Mountain College. it tended to represent the working class in idealized terms. when the dominant model of contemporary poetry was that associated with T. a series of communications from Maximus. Roland Barthes’s view of READERLY/ WRITERLY texts represents another version of the process/product debate. As a result the Projectivist poets are sometimes referred to as the “Black Mountain Poets. as in the plays of 339 . Duncan. A particularly popular form in the 1930s.” In this “physical verse. of subject and object. and Creeley extended well beyond the confines of Black Mountain to constitute an important influence on contemporary American poetry. 1968). Gloucester. Writing during the hegemony of NEW CRITICISM. and POETRY that focuses on the experience of working-class people. The best-known example of Projectivist verse is Olson’s Maximus poems (1960. Eliot and Wallace Stevens.PROLETARIAN LITERATURE in the experience of its readers. S. Olson.” the poet’s breath governs the length of each poetic line. a Ulysses-like voyager. Robert Duncan. is a principle associated with ROMANTICISM and POSTMODERNISM. DRAMA. Contending that poetry conforming to the New Critical mode was too cerebral.” but the influence of Olson. Olson called for a rejection of this type of poetry on the grounds that it was written for the eye rather than the ear. The two terms play a large role in COMPOSITION STUDIES. See FORESHADOWING. a community in North Carolina that existed from 1933 to 1956 for the encouragement of experimentation in the arts. Duncan. proletarian literature FICTION.

” Alternative stages include the “thrust” stage. Textual evidence suggests that prompt books served as the printer’s texts for some of the plays in the FIRST FOLIO of Shakespeare’s plays (1623). 1935) and the novels of John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath. Examples in film include Stephen Frears’s My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) and John Sayles’s Matewan (1987). religious. propaganda An organized attempt to influence public opinion on political.” but by the complexity and artistry of the specific text. social. and the question of where to draw the line between what is and is not propaganda is a controversial one. prose A type of language not organized according to a regular metrical prin- ciple or pattern. in which the audience surrounds the stage. prologue An introduction to a literary work. Literature and films can be most effective disguises. but the term is most often used in DRAMA. prompt book The annotated script of a play. prose developed later than 340 . usually serving as the EXPOSITION. the playing space where the actors perform before an audience sitting in front of the stage. P. tend to veer close to propaganda. As a literary vehicle. but is generally more effective when it is disguised as something else. the prologue is an inherent feature of the structure of the play.” that is. Certain genres. A. In ELIZABETHAN drama. The best-known example in English literature is the Prologue to Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (1389–1400). the prologue commented on the action or theme of the play. and the “arena” or “theater in the round” stage. 1939). In Greek drama. as is POETRY.PROLOGUE Clifford Odets (Waiting for Lefty. proscenium In most theaters. in the conventional modern theater. or cultural issues. the area “in front of the scenery. Foulkes’s Literature and Propaganda (1983) discusses the topic from the perspective of literary theory. such as the film DOCUMENTARY. in which the audience sits on three sides. The structure that frames the playing space is called the “proscenium arch. used by the prompter to assist the actors with their lines and cues. Propaganda is most visible during wartime. In these cases the question is usually resolved not by determining the author’s “objectivity. The contemporary view that argues against the possibility of objectivity suggests that all language is rhetorical and that propaganda is merely an extreme point on a continuous spectrum.

still is—regarded as an inferior form. 341 . but one that is. a rhythm that is particularly conducive to NARRATIVE forms. displays the rhythms and types of imagery usually found in verse. such as METER. and RHYTHM. however. proverb A short saying expressing a point of view commonly held to be true within the culture in which it is cited. “continuous. while printed as prose. traditionally attributed to King Solomon. Protestant reformation See REFORMATION. The Old Testament Book of Proverbs.” Northrop Frye’s essay “The Rhythm of Continuity: Prose” appears in his Anatomy of Criticism (1957). Like poetry. Thus from the standpoint of an ANTISTRATFORDIAN. protagonist The chief CHARACTER in a DRAMA or STORY. In many cases the protagonist is the HERO and the antagonist the VILLAIN. The prose poem has become increasingly common in the work of contemporary poets including the American John Ashbery (Three Poems. in the critic Northrop Frye’s words. prose poem A composition that. The reverse may be the case. The prose poem was developed in 19th-century France by the symbolist poets Charles Baudelaire (Paris Spleen. the protagonist/antagonist opposition is represented as an internal conflict within the same character. the study of the metrical characteristics of verse. where the usual aim is to move the reader along without calling attention to itself. for some people. See SYMBOLISTS. was a rich source of later proverbial lore. but in fact written by Jews and Christians in the last three centuries before Christ and in the first two centuries of the Christian era.The rival or opposing figure of the protagonist is termed the antagonist. pseudepigrapha A group of about 65 TEXTs falsely ascribed to Old Testament figures. RHYME.PSEUDEPIGRAPHA poetry and was—and. 1886). as in Shakespeare’s Richard III. prosody In literature. 1984). 1972) and the Irish poet Seamus Heaney (Station Island. where Richard is the protagonist/villain and the earl of Richmond the antagonist/hero. the complete works of Shakespeare are pseudepigrapha. In many modern psychological plays and stories. 1869) and Arthur Rimbaud (Illuminations. prose exhibits a rhythm. not recurrent. In a more general sense the term refers to any text that has been falsely attributed to a well-known author.

342 . anxieties. of interest and tragic power. who argues that the reader brings into the text his or her fantasies. the most prominent proponent of this view is Norman Holland. the heyday of literary MODERNISM. analysis of the characters in a story as if they were real people. The result was a tendency to subordinate literature to psychoanalysis. D. 1949). The best-known example of the psychoanalysis of a literary character is Ernest Jones’s treatment of Hamlet as suffering from an OEDIPAL COMPLEX (Hamlet and Oedipus. to apply them to literature in a manner that reduced either the writer or the TEXT (or both) to a psychological case study. as in Edmund Wilson’s interpretation of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw (1898). deserves to stand beside the chaotic mass of psychological insights which literature has accumulated through the centuries. a position manifestly at odds with Freud’s own view that “the poets and the philosophers discovered the unconscious long before I did. An important early example of this approach is Marie Bonaparte’s 1933 study of Edgar Allan Poe. Psychoanalytic insights into human behavior constituted the basis for entire movements such as EXPRESSIONISM and SURREALISM and informed the work of modern writers. In addition to these more or less programmatic approaches. using them where they seemed appropriate. As a result. particularly professional psychologists. As for the psychoanalysis of the reader. The critical application of Freudian concepts generally falls into three categories: emphasis on the AUTHOR’s psychological conflicts as evidenced in his work. notably the French theorist Jacques Lacan. Lawrence. Thomas Mann. and sublimation to the artistic process. and unacknowledged biases. and Eugene O’Neill. were developed in the early decades of the 20th century. thereby missing the rich complexity of the literature itself. many critics of the ’40s and ’50s employed Freudian ideas selectively.PSYCHOANALYTICAL CRITICISM psychoanalytical criticism A general term for a number of critical approaches that derive from the theories of Sigmund Freud and his followers. such as the concept of the UNCONSCIOUS and the relation of dreams. repression. many modern artists were heavily influenced by Freudianism. including James Joyce.” But often the enthusiasm with which Freud’s ideas were taken up led critics. Freud’s ideas. In the first category belong many biographical studies of writers. and focus on the appeal of the work as the working out of the hidden desires and fears of its readers.” Lacan’s revision of Freud has helped to restore the influence and prestige of the psychoanalytic approach among literary critics. H. A measure of Freud’s impact is evident in Lionel Trilling’s claim in “Freud and Literature” (1947): “Freudianism is the only systematic account of the human mind which in point of subtlety and complexity.

and the Symbolic phase. see James Mellard’s Using Lacan.PSYCHOMACHIA Jacques Lacan’s revision of Freud employs some of the principles of specifically in his emphasis on the linguistic character of the unconscious. particularly those associated with FEMINIST CRITICISM. Examples include David Riggs’s Ben Jonson: a Life (1989) and Louise Kaplan’s The Family Romance of the Impostor Poet Thomas Chatterton (1987). Norman Holland’s studies include The Dynamics of Literary Response (1968) and Five Readers Reading (1975). and literary theorist. Reading Fiction (1992). 343 . (Lacan’s most celebrated utterance is “The unconscious is structured like a language. offers a comprehensive anthology of psychoanalytical criticism. Jung began as a disciple of Freud but broke away from traditional psychoanalysis to develop his own theories of the collective unconscious and of archetypes. when he acquires language and with it the sense of separateness and loss. and me. psychobiography A type of BIOGRAPHY that stresses the psychological devel- opment of its subject. who has developed Lacan’s theory of the Imaginary and Symbolic phases to suggest that in the early “pre-Oedipal” phase the child employs a “feminine” language that is rich in verbal play. novelist. For Lacan. POSTSTRUCTURALISM. psychomachia (war for the soul) In medieval literature. the representation of the forces of good and evil contending for the soul of mankind.” Another major psychological thinker who has influenced modern literature is Carl Jung. A recent critique by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (Anti-Oedipus.”) Two central terms for Lacan are the Imaginary. such as is found in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake (1939). edited by Edith Kurzweil and William Phillips (1983). a practicing psychoanalyst. Literature and Psychoanalysis.” Lacan’s ideas have been taken up by many modern critics. see Frederick Crews’s Out of My System (1975). 1983) argues that Freud and Lacan have set up the Oedipal theme as a master code that reduces the full range of human social experience to the study of “mama. the pre-Oedipal phase of human development when the infant imagines himself at one with the world. Usually rendered in allegorical form as a struggle between the “Good Angel” and the diabolical VICE figure in MORALITY PLAYS. the Imaginary phase is associated with the Mother and the Symbolic with “the name of the father. frequently employing Freudian insights in order to explain certain behavior. For a critique of psychoanalytic criticism by a former practitioner. papa. both of which play a major role in MYTH CRITICISM. for the influence of Lacan. the psychomachia motif influenced later literature. One example is the work of Julia Kristeva.

conceived of the earth as the center of the universe. They featured a platform or thrust stage. a Polish astronomer whose work was published in 1453. Bernard Spivack’s Shakespeare and the Allegory of Evil (1958) offers an interesting argument concerning Shakespeare’s use of the psychomachia in Othello. I pray. The Ptolemaic system.000 people. and religious views of the MIDDLE AGES and early Renaissance. Which like two spirits do suggest me still: The better angel is a man right fair. a point emphasized by Othello when. moon. These outdoor theaters were large. In 1599 the original Theatre was torn down and its materials used to construct the GLOBE THEATRE. The worser spirit a woman colour’d ill. around which the sun. political. my female evil Tempteth my better angel from my side.” public/private theaters Terms for two types of ELIZABETHAN playhouses. The public theaters were located in the suburbs of the city of London because of Puritan opposition to plays. Spivack sees Iago as an example of the Vice figure and Desdemona as a “Good Angel” contending for Othello’s soul.PTOLEMAIC/COPERNICAN Shakespeare invokes the psychomachia tradition in “Sonnet 144” when he casts the “Dark Lady” and the “Young Man” of the sonnets as evil and good angels: Two loves have I of comfort and despair. near the end of the play. he asks: Will you. was called The Theatre. . accommodating as many as 3. bordered on three sides by the audience. demand that demi-devil Why he hath thus ensnared my soul and body? Ptolemaic/Copernican Two historical views of the structure of the universe. The first public theater. erected in 1576. To win me soon to hell. the home of Shakespeare’s company. Copernicus demonstrated that the sun was the center of the universe and that the earth revolves around it. This view of the universe persisted well into the RENAISSANCE until it was contradicted by the theories of Copernicus. . Its impact is summarized in John Donne’s line “And new philosophy calls all in doubt. 344 . Scenery and costumes were minimal. derived from the second-century astrologer Ptolemy. The Copernican system shattered a world view that had undergirded most of the cultural. and planets rotated in a harmonious and beautiful order. . Several other playhouses were built later.

PUN The private theaters were smaller indoor institutions. Shakespeare’s company came to occupy one of these theaters. 345 . often primitive examples of later genres such as the DETECTIVE STORY.” In modern times the pun has come to be seen as an important device for exhibiting IRONY. and indoor Blackfriars in winter. pun A play on words. a film that offers a postmodernist treatment of pulp fiction elements. Doctor Johnson chided Shakespeare for his fondness for the pun. This rivalry is alluded to in Shakespeare’s Hamlet where the children’s companies are described as “little eyases [young hawks] that cry out on the top of question and are most tyrannically clapped for it. private theater plays were performed by boy actors. third edition (1992) is a highly authoritative study. Like the DIME NOVEL of an earlier period. AMBIGUITY. and the inherent instability of language. the outdoor Globe in the summer. Shakespeare’s company (The King’s Men) continued to perform in both theaters. notably in the work of James Joyce. Some have attributed Shakespeare’s shift from comedy and tragedy to the ROMANCE form at this time as his adaptation to his new theater and its more select audience.” while “less than kind” contains a pun on the word “kind” meaning “natural. SCIENCE FICTION. In any case. These children’s companies created such a vogue that they forced many of the adult companies to leave London and go on tour. usually for comic effect. but also of contemporary theory and criticism. but sometimes for a serious purpose. In their early years.” a reference to the “unnatural” union of the King and Hamlet’s mother.” In 1608. as in the first act of Shakespeare’s Hamlet: KING: HAM: And now our cousin Hamlet and our son. As a result the pun is a feature not only of modern literature. located within London because the influence of their more wealthy and aristocratic patrons outweighed the Puritan opposition. calling it “the fatal Cleopatra for which he was lost the world—and was content to lose it. The term reappeared in the title of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction (1994). the Blackfriars. these magazines featured early. Andrew Gurr’s The Shakespearean Stage. and the WESTERN. Hamlet’s pun on “kin” can be read as “I’m not your son. pulp fiction A type of popular fiction published on cheap pulp paper from the 1920s through the 1940s. A little more than kin and less than kind. 1574–1642.

a translation of the Book of Psalms for congregational singing (and the first book printed in America) was enormously popular and influential throughout the Colonial period. while Taylor’s poems exhibit a sensuous humanism not normally associated with the Puritans. Within writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter. John Milton. The Bay Psalm Book (1640). Bradstreet’s poetry reveals the struggle to resolve the claims of this world and the next. The impact of Puritanism on American culture.PURITANISM Jonathan Culler’s On Puns: The Foundation of Letters (1988) argues for the pun as a central feature of literary language. English Puritanism produced one of the towering figures of literature. These Puritans produced a body of essentially religious literature which has come to be recognized as a formidable achievement. and one of the most popular religious texts. deposed and executed King Charles I. purple prose A perjorative term for a passage or an entire work that is stylisti- cally extravagant or overdone. Two significant poets. particularly in its emphasis on the centrality of the BIBLE. 1939. the Anglo-Scottish version of CALVINISM. and established the Puritan Commonwealth (1649–60). For them as for many others American writers. the “Puritan Heritage” was both a boon and a form of bondage. In prose the histories of William Bradford and John Winthrop and the religious writings of Jonathan Edwards are outstanding. 1850) and Herman Melville (Billy Budd. Eventually the movement grew to the point where. Two important and divergent views of the Puritan impact on American culture are Perry Miller’s The New England Mind (2 vols. has been profound and powerful. 1953) and Sacvan Bercovitch’s The American Jeremiad (1978). in alliance with Presbyterianism. Puritanism A religious reform movement beginning in mid-16th-century England that went on to play a major role in the shaping of American literature. The American novelist of the 1930s Thomas Wolfe frequently employed purple prose in his fiction. one group of Puritans had emigrated and settled the New England colonies. 1890) the struggle with Puritan ideas is a continuing theme. it controlled Parliament. The original Puritans focused on the reform of practices and services of the Church of England. Anne Bradstreet and Edward Taylor. John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678). 346 . were members of the Puritan community. While still a persecuted minority.

so that the history of sexuality is the history of the various forms the repression of it takes. 1978–86). as depicted in Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality (three vols. according to Foucault. in which the second and fourth lines rhyme. Foucault argues that sexuality represents a powerful. the term emphasizes their distinctive approach to cultural theory. which measures a line in terms of the number of stresses in it. thereby forming four leaves or eight pages of print. the length of time it takes to pronounce a syllable.ååå quadrivium See TRIVIUM-QUADRIVIUM. is quantitative: Its verse is composed of syllables that are designated “long” if they contain a long vowel sound and “short” if they contain a short one. One aspect of repression. They use the word queer to transform a word meant as an insult into a term of defiant pride. quatrain A four-line stanza of verse. Approximately half of Shakespeare’s plays were originally printed as quartos. This system differs from English PROSODY. The chief distinction of this approach is its stress on sexuality not as a natural occurrence. meaning unusual or not ordinary. See FIRST FOLIO. a book size produced by folding a printer’s sheet twice. Greek and Latin verse. The traditional BALLAD was usually composed in quatrains. queer theory A term adopted by some gays and lesbians to describe their theoretical orientation. was the gradual 347 . quarto In printing. generally exhibiting a rhyme scheme. later collected in the larger size folio. q å quantitative verse The term for poetic METER based on quantity. It takes twice as long to utter a long syllable as a short one.. for example. but as a historical construction. Occasional experiments in rendering English poetry in quantitative verse have demonstrated only the intractably accentual character of English. anarchic force that always threatens authority. Moreover. in the other sense of queer.

QUINTAIN marginalization and criminalization of homosexuality. who use the marginalized position of the homosexual as a vantage point from which to critique the heterosexual norm in Western culture. quintain A five-line stanza of verse. . in the first century A. an analysis of the heterosexual bias implicit in general definitions of gender. the Essenes. the manuscripts contain fragments of nearly all the books of the Old Testament. a past. a study of the ways in which the repression of homosexuality has affected modern culture. which moved from being “a category of forbidden acts” to being a form of identity: “The nineteenth-century homosexual became a personage. had retreated to the remote area of Qumran to separate themselves from what they regarded as the corrupt practices of the religion in Jerusalem. These were a group of people who. along with some biblical apocrypha.” Foucault’s formulation has become the springboard for the work of queer theorists. It is thought that these writings influenced John the Baptist in his later teaching of the coming of the Messiah in the figure of Jesus. and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s The Epistemology of the Closet (1990). who originated the manuscripts. . The sodomite had been a temporary aberration. Popularly known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Qumran manuscripts Manuscripts rediscovered between 1947 and 1956 in Qumran near the Dead Sea. Notable examples include Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble (1989). the homosexual was now a species. . the usual stanza for the LIMERICK.. a case history. The most interesting fragments are the commentaries written by the Jewish sect. 348 .D. One important part of these commentaries was their emphasis on the imminent arrival of the Messiah.

In Great Britain. testifying to the power of the form. G. radio plays were able to develop the long neglected form of poetic drama. radio drama Plays written for radio represented a unique development in the history of DRAMA in that its performers were unseen. is Orson Welles’s 1938 adaptation of H. and Louis MacNeice’s Christopher Columbus (1942) and The Dark Tower (1947). satiric language in the manner of François Rabelais’s five-part satirical work Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532–64). Eric Barnouw’s Mass Communication (1956) includes a useful history of radio plays. on the other. such as the frequent use of a NARRATOR. on the one hand. to the recondite and difficult plays of Samuel Beckett. to the SOAP OPERA and. is a collection of essays on the history and present state of the form. Notable examples include Archibald MacLeish’s The Fall of the City (1937). Radio Drama (1981). more than one thousand plays a year were produced on the BBC during radio’s golden age. Welles’s version dramatized an invasion from Mars as though it were an eyewitness news account and precipitated widespread panic throughout the United States. Even today. despite the common view in the United States that radio drama died with the advent of television. Harold Pinter’s A Slight Ache (1959). Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood (1954). the spoken word. the sheer volume of which has never before been matched. Between these extremes lay a range of work. As a result. Sayers’s The Man Born To Be King (1941). radio plays are regularly produced in Europe. licentious. along with a heavy reliance on music. radio dramas acquired certain distinctive characteristics. for example. Embracing a wide range of dramatic forms. Among celebrated radio dramas in prose (all produced for the BBC) are Dorothy L. 349 . Probably the best known of radio dramas.ååå r å Rabelaisian A term for extravagant. Wells’s The War of the Worlds. and most important. radio drama gave birth. sound effects. edited by Peter Lewis. With its concentration on the spoken voice. Samuel Beckett’s All That Fall (1957). and Tom Stoppard’s The Dog It Was That Died (1982). which attracted many of the leading poets of the time.

a “Black CNN. The contrast is often underscored by the fact that the raisonneur frequently also functions as the confidant or close friend of the protagonist. rap A term in African-American slang that has acquired a variety of meanings still in use. “representations of 350 . and blest are those Whose blood and judgment are so well commingled That they are not a pipe for fortune’s finger To sound what stop she please. At first. as a result of male silence on the subject. it referred to a prison term (as in “take the rap”). 1993) places rap within the general tradition of African-American poetry. . Rap lyrics frequently contain angry statements about racism. the confidant of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. and other negative social conditions. partly because of censorship and partly. as FEMINIST CRITICISM suggests. As I do thee. a performance poetry event that was seen first on television and later on the Broadway stage. as in A Rap on Race (1967). of the rap group Public Enemy. in the words of rapper Chuck D. violence. Aleks Pate’s “Rap: The Poetry of the Streets” in USA Weekend (February 5–7. rational behavior contrasts sharply with the intense passion of other characters. where it won a Tony award in 2003.” An exciting development of rap’s literary aspects is Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam. Nelson George’s Hip-Hop America (1998) analyzes the movement within the social and political context of America in the last two decades of the 20th century. A well-known example is Horatio. Rap’s defenders have described it as an information network for AfricanAmerican youth or. Other rap lyrics have been accused of being sexist and obscene. and I will wear him In my heart’s core—aye. rape Sexual violence against women is not as pervasive in literature as in life. in my heart of heart. The Prince pays this tribute to his raisonneur friend: . .RAISONNEUR raisonneur (reasoner) A French term for a character in a novel or play whose calm. Even when present. Later it came to mean a conversation. More recently it has come to refer to a rhymed monologue set to music (also known as hip-hop). In one celebrated example (Ice T’s “Copkiller”) the lyric appeared to advocate the murder of police officers. an exchange between novelist James Baldwin and anthropologist Margaret Mead. Give me that man That is not passion’s slave.

are almost always framed by a masculine perspective. linguistic experience which the reader is asked not to consume but to co-produce. Another classical legend adapted by Shakespeare is the story of Lucrece. The question raised by feminist critics is whether these stories. Rape and Representation (1991). readerly/writerly (lisible/scriptible) Contrasting terms used by the French theorist Roland Barthes to describe a fundamental distinction between two types of TEXT. Lavinia exposes the culprits by using the stumps of her arms to turn to the pages in Ovid that recount the story of Philomela. Lucrece’s family and friends defeat the Tarquins. premised on men’s fantasies about male sexuality and their fears of false accusation. demanding texts. is process rather than product. recounts her story and concludes by committing suicide. an open. her two assailants cut off her tongue and hands so that she will not be able to reveal their identity. edited by Lynn Higgins and Brenda Silver. The writerly (scriptible) text. One of these is the massive historical evidence of sexual violence against women slaves by slavemasters. The readerly (lisible) text is the conventional narrative with a beginning. despite their moral condemnation of rape. a Roman matron. enabling her sister Procne. A similar motif of rape. disfigurement. is a collection of essays offering a feminist perspective on the subject. and revelation occurs in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus. a finished product that leaves the reader in the position of a passive consumer. who. where after raping Lavinia. . to conceal his guilt. Philomela weaves the story of the rape into a tapestry. Another is the false rape charge that forms the central incident in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1960). the daughter of Titus. .READER RESPONSE CRITICISM rape. the subject of rape intersects with a number of other social forces. Many critics now use the term to refer to difficult. using a stick that she holds in her mouth. on the other hand. to take revenge on the king. establish a pattern that sanctions male power and rationalizes violence against women. who after being raped by Tarquin. the wife of Tereus. Then she writes the names of the rapists on the ground. 351 . pluralist. had her tongue cut out. a victory that leads to the founding of the Roman republic. Roland Barthes explains his use of the term in his S/Z (1970). Barthes is unclear about whether the writerly text actually exists or represents an ideal.” One of the primary literary TEXTs on the subject is the STORY in Ovid’s Metamorphoses of the rape of Philomela by King Tereus. middle and end. In modern American literature. poignantly delineated in Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987). such as James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake (1939).

Central to the reader-oriented approach is the definition of the term reader. while others examine the cultural. Critics who focus on actual readers tend to emphasize the psychology of reading. Elizabeth’s Freund’s The Return of the Reader: Reader Response Criticism (1987) offers an overview and analysis. the meaning of those words must be activated by the reader. but it rested on a long tradition. However. allied to RHETORICAL CRITICISM. edited by Jane Tompkins. the role actual readers play in the determination of literary meaning. of judging a work in terms of its effect upon a reader. Once the interaction of reader and text takes place.” The modern reader response movement began in the 1970s. supplied by the European approach known as RECEPTION THEORY.” groups of readers with shared assumptions which they bring to the reading of a text. Another answer. the relation of reading conventions to textual interpretation. but becomes part of an interactive process. it is an event. Still another approach. or historical contexts in which reading occurs.) The traditional question to be asked of a text has been “what does it mean?”. the text can no longer be thought of as separate. adopted by the critic Stanley Fish. Clearly the words exist on the paper independent of a reader. is to suggest “interpretive communities. a language system of rules and connections that proscribe radically aberrant interpretations. “the kind of readers various texts seem to imply. “reader” denotes the hypothetical response a TEXT seems to require or “imply” (see IMPLIED AUTHOR/READER). these critics argue that both reader and writer are governed by a common grammar. The literary text. It was this approach that was critiqued as the AFFECTIVE FALLACY during the reign of the NEW CRITICISM. is to look at the reception of the text over time. is not an object or artifact. A representative collection is the anthology Reader Response Criticism (1980). Stanley Fish’s arguments for “interpretive communities” can be found in his Is There A Text in This Class? (1980). Feminist critics have called attention to the importance of the reader-as-woman. on this view. For many. (See TRANSACTIONAL THEORY.” The range of this criticism focuses on such questions as. but in reader response criticism the question becomes “what does a reader do in order to ‘co-create’ a meaning?” To the charge that this approach invites an anarchic relativism in which a text can mean anything a given reader wants it to mean. the New Critics altered that to “how does it mean?”. in the critic Jane Tompkins’s formulation.READERLY/WRITERLY reader response criticism A critical movement that focuses on the belief that the meaning of a literary work “has no effective existence outside of its realization in the mind of a reader. social. For others the term refers to actual readers. A crucial distinction in reader response theory turns on the question of the text as an objective entity. and the status of the reader’s self. 352 .

which sought to take the determinist element in realism a step further. Another characteristic feature of 19th-century realism—present in varying degrees in the works of novelists such as George Eliot. 353 . D.REALISM realism In art and literature. In a strict historical sense. the collective title of his vast outpouring of NOVELS and SHORT STORIES. realism was replaced by NATURALISM. which represents life as we would like it to be. argued that. without recourse to miraculous events. but realist practice has continued to be the dominant form of the novel and drama in the 20th century. recording one’s findings with the objectivity of a scientist. Naturalism. Lawrence. Balzac viewed himself as his society’s recording secretary. the emphasis is on the way things are for ordinary people. for other dramatists—Henrik Ibsen. Among the great realistic novelists of the 20th century—Henry James. observing and describing with cool detachment the “Human Comedy” (La Comédie Humaine). and Leo Tolstoy—was DETERMINISM. the term refers to a movement in 19th-century France led by novelists. as opposed to practice. or to other anti-realist approaches such as EXPRESSIONISM or IMPRESSIONISM. the writer’s role was to study his or her subjects as if they were experimental animals. In this sense realism is opposed to ROMANCE. or supernatural intervention. H. larger-than-life characters. In theory. as expounded by its founder Émile Zola. it provided a vehicle of revealing the tragic-comic truth of unfulfilled longings. realism’s broad appeal as a vehicle of both popular and serious fiction and drama has not prevented many of its critics from seeing it as an “exhausted” form. for example—realism offered the most effective means of exposing social hypocrisy. Its appeal for the playwright Bernard Shaw lay in its role in debunking the Romantic ideals that perpetuate injustice and ignorance. Thomas Hardy. such as Honoré de Balzac. and historical forces. while for Anton Chekhov. In a realistic text. who set out to produce a richly detailed account of French society. radically limited by cultural. if not completely illusory. environmental. whose behavior and speech mirror their social position and cultural attitudes. Nevertheless. since heredity and environment are the sole determinants of individual character. one that is too conventional for the expression of distinctively new and fresh literary experiences. and Thomas Mann—realism offered a form flexible enough to accommodate experimentation and representation. a term covering a broad range of views centered on the attempt to depict life as it is usually experienced. A key feature of realist literature is its emphasis on the author’s objectivity. Naturalism proved to be both oversimplified science and narrow theory. the view that individual free will is.

A significant contribution to realist criticism is Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis (1953). satirical realist novel Bonfire of the Vanities (1988).REALISM Adherents of experimental writing decry what they see as the tyranny of the insistence that a work be judged solely in terms of its correspondence to the ordinary sense of what is real. in Julia Kristeva’s words. In recent years. or for beauty. of MAGIC REALISM. for MIMESIS. theorists argued over whether film positions a viewer before a “window” (realism) or a “frame” (formalism). 354 . “a permutation of text . as a result. contributing to the view of contemporary fiction as irrelevant. One happy compromise in the conflict of realism and anti-realism is the development. The notion that film provides at its core a picture of reality has been generally an unexamined assumption. for truth. Tom Wolfe has called for a return to the traditional realist novel of society. the classical and the biblical. a study of “the literary treatment of reality. the SEMIOTICS approach to film has focused on the ways in which the illusion of experience is created by the technique of film—how. the realist debate has assumed a major role. “there is no outside the text.” In the development of FILM THEORY. In an earlier period. [that] intersect and neutralize each other. A related position is reflected in the concept of INTERTEXTUALITY. In place of realist criteria. along with many visual artists. . in which the fantastic and the realistic are juxtaposed. the experimentalists would substitute the principles of pleasure and play: They. Consequently. as the officially sanctioned literary form of the Soviet Union. the principal exponent of DECONSTRUCTION. which. He sees contemporary novelists as retreating to subjective experience and. argue that any attempt to reproduce the appearance of outside reality is merely dealing with the surface of life. particularly in Latin American literature. In literary theory the reaction against realism is founded on skepticism over whether a literary text can mirror a world outside itself. as a pseudorealistic document that informs us about life. His attention to the linguistic details of the texts he examines underscores his larger concern: the history of the changing conceptions of reality from classical times to the present. proved to be an artistic strait-jacket. in which a given text is simply. several utterances. But beyond this development. .” Derrida’s point seems to be that any linguistic text refers only to itself. taken from other texts.” An example of the extremes to which the anti-realist position appears to be moving is the prediction of the critic Raymond Federman that future fiction will not “pretend any longer to pass for reality. fiction will no longer be regarded as a mirror to life. In the famous phrase of Jacques Derrida. the debate between the two factions continues: writing in the wake of his successful.” Auerbach sees realism rooted in two distinct traditions. An example of realist tyranny is the fate of SOCIALIST REALISM.

the descriptive poems of Walt Whitman. That world may bear a sharp resemblance to the world we perceive. Henry James (Washington Square. These characteristics. is that it presents a “world” of its own. 355 . whether as “realistic” as a DOCUMENTARY or as “unrealistic” as an animated film. In American literature. The debate among film theorists is analyzed in Dudley Andrew’s Concepts in Film Theory (1984). 1896). The naturalist movement dominated the second half of the period. In poetry. were elevated to a higher plane in the work of Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. F. 1881). 1899). One of its earliest appearances is in the work of regionalist writers. edited by George Becker (1963). particularly the principle of DETERMINISM. 1905). 1896). coupled with psychological and social observations. collects the basic writings in the case for realism while John Kuehl’s AlternateWorlds: A Study of Postmodern AntiRealist American Fiction (1989) offers the rationale of the antirealist position. 1884). from 1890 to 1914. Harold Frederic (The Damnation of TheronWare.REALIST/NATURALIST example. W. 1903). as in Italian NEOREALISM. Hemmings’s The Age of Realism (1974) covers the realist movement in the 19th century. but its ultimate reality resides in the recognition that an audience’s response confers on it. economic. realism was a gradually developing process. and Jack London (The Call of the Wild. realist/naturalist A period in American literature extending approximately from the end of the Civil War to the beginning of World War I. in which the social. Warner Berthoff’s The Ferment of Realism: American Literature 1884–1918 (1965) traces the main currents of thought in the period. J.” reflected his enthusiasm for ordinary life. and biological forces at work in the formation of the individual assumed great importance (see NATURALISM). such as Bret Harte and Sarah Orne Jewett. The movement owed much to its European origins. stirred by the spread of scientific and rationalist thought. 1885). Among the most important American naturalist writers were Stephen Crane (Maggie: A Girl of the Streets. recension An edition of a TEXT that has been edited to include the most plau- sible readings. the movement of the camera mirrors the act of visual perception as it unfolds within the observer. Theory aside. who emphasized the details of daily living in the lives of their characters. such as “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry. the experience of most people who see a film. Documents of Modern Realism. and Edith Wharton (The House of Mirth. Frank Norris (McTeague. William Dean Howells (The Rise of Silas Lapham.

as in Stephen Sondheim’s “We Had a Good Thing Going” in which the title/refrain is finally repeated as “We had a good thing going. Central to this conception is the idea of the reader’s “horizon of expectations”: Every reader approaches a literary text with assumptions about the type or GENRE it represents. In this respect the movement appears to have moved closer to READER RESPONSE CRITICISM. not something transcendent or “timeless. who formulated his theory in 1967. led to. It also refers to the selection and arrangement of the older Hebrew texts into what became the Hebrew Bible. Reformation The 16th-century religious movement that rejected the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.” 356 . develop a reception history of their own. closed in upon themselves. redaction An edition of a TEXT that has been revised or edited. associated with DECONSTRUCTION and many postmodernist texts. going. refrain A passage that is repeated at various points in a poem or song. An alternative view. he has placed more attention on the individual reader.” and that the reader’s perception plays the critical role without which the work is incomplete. which to some extent becomes part of a later generation’s horizon in regard to the work. a series of important political and social changes in European and American history. asserts that literary texts are self-referential. the establishment of Protestantism. such as Shakespeare’s plays. Reception theory is associated with Hans Robert Jauss. These horizons shift over time so that classical texts. Hans Robert Jauss’s Toward an Aesthetic of Reception (1982) and Aesthetic Experience and Literary Hermeneutics (1982) are two of his works that have been translated into English. and the reader’s own experience of life. at which time he focused on readers in the collective sense. In REALISM the referent is usually assumed to be the nonliterary world of experience. or accompanied. Designed to integrate the opposed camps of FORMALISM and historical criticism. See CALVINISM and PURITANISM. Its religious consequences. its relation to other works of its time. gone.RECENSION reception theory A German critical movement that focuses on the social/ historical contexts within which a literary work is received. referent A term for that to which a word or literary text refers. Since that time. Frequently the refrain will be repeated with a slight variation in the last line. reception theory argues that the work of literature is a historical phenomenon.

Basic to Buber’s thought is the distinction between the “I” and the “Thou. which offers a mystical vision of unified Christendom. Milton’s Paradise Lost. alienated because he has reified the other in turning a “Thou” into an “It”. comic and macabre. the dominant role of literature. In the I/It relation. since the “I” is alone.” Ideally.RELIGIOUS FAITH reification In MARXIST CRITICISM. EVIL. religious faith In Western European civilization.” An I/It relationship to another person is not in fact a relationship at all. T. However. which sees the GODS as both merciful and just but demanding of humankind the price of suffering. (To reify is to turn someone or something into a thing. the other part is outside. “the ways of God to man. it has remained for literature to ask and sometimes answer these questions in terms of concrete individual human experience. Eliot’s Four Quartets. reification plays a central role in the religious EXISTENTIALISM of the theologian Martin Buber. Dante’s Divine Comedy.” Although theology has offered elaborate explanations for the grounds of faith and for the facts of suffering. The result is a profound ALIENATION experienced by the modern worker. which explores the relation of time to eternity. and injustice in the world. trapped within himself. we have an I/Thou relationship with another living person while the I/It describes the relationship with an inanimate object. Flannery O’Connor’s SHORT STORIES. the great affirmations include Aeschylus’ Oresteia. we can and often do. in John Milton’s words. only a part of the “I” is present. as in the Book of Job. the condition of passivity in the face of the capitalist transformation of the products of labor—and the laborers themselves— into things. which invokes the paradox of the FORTUNATE FALL. treat a person as an “It. In a markedly different but substantively similar sense of the term. Shakespeare’s great tragedies Hamlet and King Lear offer a challenge to make what we can of the “ripeness” and “readiness” 357 .) According to Marx. and Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead (2004) depicting the serenity and beauty of a life celebrating God’s creation. S. observing or judging. in relation to religion. The English translation of Buber’s central work is I and Thou (1950). From the perspective of faith. Georges Bernanos’s Diary of a Country Priest (1936) with its fierce and stark view of the internal struggle of a religious man. From the perspective of doubt. or despair. while in the I/Thou relationship the total being of the persons are involved. reification separates the product from the sociopolitical conditions that govern the labor process. but rooted in and exemplifying a belief in the Incarnation. doubt. The biblical Job and the classical Prometheus embody the individual petitioning or defying the heavens from the perspective of faith. or to justify. Thus the thing becomes more important than the laboring process that brought it into being. has been either to question.

. literature. Among movements associated with the validation of religious values in literature are NEW CRITICISM. NEO-SCHOLASTICISM. For example. and. or offering an alternative to religion. André Schwartz-Bart’s The Last of the Just (1960).RENAISSANCE that is “all”. Critical movements offering a negative view of religion’s relation to literature are the NEW YORK INTELLECTUALS. and. In 20th-century literary criticism. there arise those distinctly modern and postmodern texts. and Literature and Religion (1971). in English literature it has become common to view Chaucer as a direct SOURCE of some ELIZABETHAN poetry. FEMINIST CRITICISM. religion. This group prefers the 358 . Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (1952). From Burckhardt’s perspective. Among the movements that see literature as an alternative to religion (a position first articulated by Matthew Arnold) or who see the two as fusing in a common identity. Recently some contemporary scholars and historians have argued that the term Renaissance (literally “re-birth”) overemphasizes the beginnings of the period and fails to recognize its anticipation of modern thought. Renaissance The period from approximately 1400 to 1650 when Western Europe underwent a series of radical changes in art. it was a time when the religious trappings of the MIDDLE AGES were discarded and “modern man” came into existence. From the perspective of despair. critiquing. 1939–68) is a comprehensive history of religious thought in English poetry from the 18th through the 20th centuries. to the extent that it views religion as overwhelmingly patriarchal in its orientation. Franz Kafka’s The Trial (1925). More recently. Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick represents his ongoing “quarrel with God”. scholars have recognized the extent to which the seeds of the Renaissance were sown in the later Middle Ages. are MYTH CRITICISM and one branch of HERMENEUTICS. these strains are evident in critical approaches that see literature as either validating. and the novels of John Updike persistently probe questions of faith and religion in contemporary life. in the wake of the HOLOCAUST. the era was regarded as one in which a miraculous “rebirth” took place. Two valuable anthologies covering the many sides of the subject are Spiritual Problems in Contemporary Literature (1952). edited by Stanley Romaine Hopper. and some predate the Renaissance as far back as the 12th century. and the concept of religious EXISTENTIALISM. Hoxie Neale Fairchild’s Religious Trends in English Poetry (six vols. edited by Giles Gunn. MARXIST CRITICISM. under the influence of the historian Jacob Burckhardt’s The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1860). In the 19th century. and politics.

repetition functions as a form of emphasis.REPETITION designation EARLY MODERN PERIOD. Desiderius Erasmus. a comparable emphasis occurs with the use 359 . In France. in economics. In poetry and song. whose Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532–64) celebrates the life of both the senses and the intellect. established a poetic tradition throughout Western Europe. for example. Paradise Lost (1660). The term was first used to describe the rediscovery of the classics of Greece and Rome associated with the 15th-century movement known as HUMANISM. and in art. In Holland. in science. designed to imprint their messages on the minds of their audiences. Vernon Hall’s Renaissance Literary Criticism: A Study of its Social Context (1945) establishes the relation of literature to the prevailing views of the time. This development was evident in religion in the Protestant emphasis on individual interpretation of the BIBLE. The period comes to a glorious conclusion with John Milton’s epic. in the discoveries that led to the validation of Copernicus’s view that the sun was the center of the universe. repetition A technique in literature and film that serves a variety of purposes. Renaissance remains a legitimate historical term and period. and the great Elizabethan and Jacobean writers. and Michel de Montaigne. Cervantes’s Don Quixote (1605–15). and Shakespeare. the creator of the ESSAY. In Spain. as. Christopher Marlowe. the greatest of the humanists and author of the wide-ranging satire In Praise of Folly (1511). the dominant Renaissance figures are Rabelais. whose SONNETS to his unattainable beloved. which led to an emphasis on the individual human form. the great dramatic achievements of Calderón and Lope de Vega. In England. was a leader in the development of the Renaissance in Northern Europe. Ben Jonson. and in fiction a unique masterpiece. the Renaissance saw the creation of the PICARESQUE. Hale’s Renaissance (1965). the Renaissance is associated with the names of Petrarch. whose Utopia (1516) created a new genre of utopian fiction. In Italian literature. one that looked back as well as forward. including Edmund Spenser. the term Renaissance connotes the humanist and martyr Thomas More. One outgrowth of the humanist movement was its emphasis on individual as opposed to collective identity. Nevertheless. in the rise of business and banking entrepreneurs. Among the many historical studies of the period is John R. Laura. Stephen Greenblatt’s Renaissance Self-Fashioning (1980) looks at the era through the lens of NEW HISTORICISM. and with Torquato Tasso whose Jerusalem Delivered (1580) was a heroic attempt to adapt the classical EPIC. in the discovery of perspectivism (the representation of three-dimensional objects on a flat surface). In its simplest use. in advertising or propaganda.

in which the NARRATOR’s experience of “involuntary memory” enables him to recapture the past. in Shakespeare’s Othello. As the scholar Mircea Eliade points out. Its repeated use in reference to Iago becomes an ironic incantation. and that there is a natural connection between a word and its REFERENT. such as the use of honest. Believers use repeated mantras and other incantations to free themselves from the illusion of change and difference through the recognition of the oneness of all things. or to the repetition of keywords. the words of which are sometimes slightly altered depending on the changes in context set up by the preceding stanza. This sense of sameness recreates for the audience the very act of waiting that is the subject of the play. in a comic vein. as it does. Another important use of repetition occurs in Eastern religions. This traditional concep- 360 . as enshrined in ritual. the repetition of certain archetypal actions frees certain societies from the burden of history by creating the sense that with each enactment of ritual. wide-ranging study of repetition in literature and film. as in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (1952). Repetition. the community is “beginning again” (see ETERNAL RETURN). is a central feature of MYTH. in William Blake’s “The Tyger. representation A term referring to the belief that the mind “represents” the objective world in the manner that a mirror reflects its object. The use of repetition as a means of transcending time is evident in Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past (1914–28). Bruce Kawin’s Telling it Again and Again (1972) is a thoughtful. repetition in the form of compulsive behavior can signal a character neurotically trapped in the past.REPRESENTATION of the REFRAIN. in which the second act repeats the first with only slight modifications. such as Hinduism. for the narrator of Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint (1969). Repetition also can be a feature of a work’s structure. contributing to the IMAGERY of the work. Thus. On the other hand.” the last lines of the first stanza What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry? appears in the final stanza as What immortal hand or eye Dare frame thy fearful symmetry? Other examples of the use of repetition are the employment of repeated images.

the editors have delved into the diaries. and.REPUTATION tion of knowledge and language has been challenged by the American philosopher Richard Rorty (Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. Eliot’s case for the Metaphysicals helped restore Donne to the status of major English poet. generally regarded as the most important American novelist of the 20th century. Since then. integrating thought with feeling and feeling with thought. drew the fire of neoclassical poets. In Hemingway and Faulkner in Their Time (2005). Dryden’s era. reflected indirectly in Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize–winning drama Wit (1999). and interviews of the writers who were contemporaries of the two titans. severing thought from feeling. Earl Rovit and Arthur Waldhorn bring an original and provocative approach to the study of reputations. and William Faulkner. particularly in his love poems. Their anti-representational views are reflected in the literature of POSTMODERNISM. Choosing as their subjects Ernest Hemingway. as well as ordinary life. Donne’s distinctive use of complex conceits and images drawn from philosophy. a position that was solidified by the compatibility of his poetry with the principles of NEW CRITICISM. What emerges from these off-the-record sources is a compilation of comments that range from mean-spirited envy to perceptive critical insight.” It was not until the early 20th century that Donne’s POETRY found an admiring audience. in which a Donne scholar discovers on her deathbed the limitations of his poetry and her life. the triumph of scientific modes of thought had resulted in the DISSOCIATION OF SENSIBILITY. Eliot’s laudatory essay “The Metaphysical Poets” (1921). by extension. He maintained that by the end of the 17th century. all the more readable because the editors have supplied brief 361 . ironically enough. However. such as John Dryden. A case study in the fluctuations of a historical reputation on the literary stock market is that of John Donne. letters. . theology. S. a poet admired in his own time. See MIND AS MIRROR. as Eliot has). Donne has suffered a slight devaluation (not nearly as severe. largely as a result of T. 1970). Samuel Johnson in his Lives of the Poets chided Donne and the other metaphysicals for employing “heterogeneous ideas . . reputation Literary scholars study AUTHORs’ historical reputations—not simply to discover more about the writers—but also to learn about the popular tastes and critical standards of particular eras. science. yoked by violence together. 1979) and the French poststructuralist Michel Foucault (The Order of Things. reflected in his position as the foremost practitioner of METAPHYSICAL POETRY in early 17th-century literature. the best-known and most influential American writer of his time. for being too intellectual. In the 18th century. in the latter half of the century. The key point in Eliot’s praise was that these poets were the last to exhibit a unified sensibility. truth from poetry.

as Rovit and Waldhorn explicitly underscore. that the judgments of other writers have the greatest influence on literary reputations in or out of the canon: in Donne’s case. As a result. and the cultural attitudes they brought back with them were heavily influenced by French standards. The book is topped off by Hemingway’s comments on Faulkner (often unkind) and Faulkner’s on Hemingway (extremely generous). and the period’s most notable achievement. Some notable examples of the style are the diary of Samuel Pepys (1660–69). The charge made by those who would significantly alter or completely disregard the canon suggests that those in support of the existing canon are critics and academics with a vested interest in the status quo. “fit though few. Eliot. a group dedicated to the study of “natural philosophy and other parts of human learning. offering glimpses of what their peers privately thought of them. and Edson. Johnson. clearer.” One of the Society’s aims was to make English prose simpler. in Hemingway and Faulkner in Their Time. satire. and closer to speech. Another 362 . Either way. modern English prose was born. Eliot’s analysis of Donne and the Metaphysical Poets is available in his Collected Essays (1932). The result is a study that looks behind the scenes of the public reputations. nevertheless made two great contributions with his sequel to Paradise Lost. like Jane Austen or Charles Dickens. Dryden.” The question of reputation has taken on new significance in light of the continuing controversy regarding the literary CANON. this meant a preference for neoclassical forms. The year 1662 saw the founding of the Royal Society. what they thought of each other. and how accurate Shakespeare is when he speaks of “the bubble reputation. John Milton. The name refers to the restoration to the English throne of the Stuart king. and the literary criticism of John Dryden. However. Restoration A period in English literature covering the years 1660 to 1710. their status is first confirmed by their peers. Of course these judgments have finally to be confirmed by readers. RESTORATION COMEDY. the examples of Donne and Hemingway and Faulkner in Their Time opens up another possibility. as John Milton described his audience. S. such as HEROIC DRAMA. But the age also saw notable contributions in prose. it is first their fellow writers. who may be. Charles II. Paradise Regained (1671) and his blank verse tragedy Samson Agonistes (1671). EPIC. T. the essays of Sir William Temple. who stands outside the period ideologically and stylistically. The king and his court had spent their exile in France.RESTORATION biographical introductions to all of the quoted writers. following the death of Oliver Cromwell and the end of the Commonwealth government.” or they may continue to enjoy a wide readership. In literature.

designed to reflect and occasionally satirize the manners. intrigue. commonly regarded as the finest example of the genre. Charles and Elaine Hallett’s The Revenger’s Madness (1981) surveys the conventions and themes of revenge tragedy. clever protagonists. sophisticated. Others include Cyril Tourneur’s The Revenger’s Tragedy (1607). Among the conventions of the form were the real or feigned madness of the hero. The term also refers to a type 363 . to some extent. revenge Revenge is a major theme in Aeschylus’ Oresteia and in the plays of Seneca. John Vanbrugh’s The Relapse (1697). analyze a recent publication or performance. elegant exercises. John Marston’s Antonio’s Revenge (1599). Richard Farquhar’s The Beaux’ Stratagem (1707). Plots usually turned on the efforts of social climbers to gain advantageous marriages and their defeat by young. where the action usually focused on the hero’s revenge for the murder of a family member. and George Chapman’s The Revenge of Bussy d’Ambois (1610). mores. Restoration comedies were witty. disguise. George Etherege’s The Man of Mode (1676). Indebted to some extent to the French comedies of Molière.REVIEW anomaly in the Restoration age is John Bunyan’s Puritan classic The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678). in which the idea of revenge presents the hero with a moral conflict he must resolve before acting on his revenge. and the appearance of the ghost of the original victim. Among the best of these plays are William Wycherley’s The Country Wife (1673). Restoration comedy A type of English comedy associated with the last decades of the 17th and the first decade of the 18th centuries. but it achieved its most concentrated expression in the revenge tragedies of ELIZABETHAN and JACOBEAN drama. William Congreve’s The Way of the World (1700). George Clark’s The Later Stuarts. Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy (1589) was an early influential example of the form. review A form of criticism that attempts to evaluate and. 1660–1714 (1961) provides a comprehensive history of the period. Robert Hume’s The Development of English Drama in the Late Seventeenth Century (1976) studies the interaction of social change and theatrical fashions in the period. Both representing and transcending the genre is Shakespeare’s Hamlet. and. and taste of its elite audience.

The Columbia Literary History of the United States (1988). William Hill Brown’s The Power of Sympathy (1789). The most important prose writings of the period. in the words of the scholar Joseph Harris. revolutionary/early national period The period in American literature between 1765 and 1828. a black slave who mastered the conventions of neoclassical poetry in an incredibly short time. revision The process of correcting or changing a TEXT. This was an era in which American writers attempted to define a distinctly American literature. In the first phase of the period (1765–89). whose Thanatopsis (1817) marks the beginning of the poetry of nature in American literature. heavily indebted in its form to Pope’s poems. “All writing is re-writing. Recent developments in COMPOSITION STUDIES have seen a movement away from the attempt to heighten the critical (that is social and political) consciousness of student writers to an emphasis. the author of a satirical mock epic M’Fingal (1776). The chief figures were the poet William Cullen Bryant. its centrality is captured in the expression. particularly the poetry of Alexander Pope. and the novelist James Fenimore Cooper. pale imitations of its neoclassical English models. 364 . The second phase of the period (1789–1828) saw the first stirrings of a new and distinctive national literature. whose members included John Trumbull. however. Two contemporary examples are The NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS and The London Review of Books.” who wrote sharp. whose The Last of the Mohicans (1826) and The Prairie (1827) inaugurate the theme of the WESTERN. Historically important was the poetry of Phillis Wheatley (Poems on Various Subjects. on helping them “to more powerful forms of reading and writing. striving for artistic as well as political independence from England. for the most part. “the poet of the American Revolution. The POETRY of the time represented. The most accomplished poet of the period was Philip Freneau. Representative was a group of writers known as the CONNECTICUT WITS. satirical attacks on the British army. edited by Emory Elliott. either in the act of writing or later. the effort bore little fruit. 1773).” To this end.REVISION of periodical in which critical articles and reviews appear. The period also saw the publication of the first novel written by an American. Regarded by many as a central feature of the writing process. were Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography (published in 1818). contains a perceptive account of the period. Harris stresses the importance of revision in helping students define their goals as writers. not to repeat our [the teacher’s] positions and interpretations but to form their own.” The term revised edition implies substantial changes in a published text.

and SYNECDOCHE.” In education. It is not capable of revealing truth but only of persuading another that it speaks truth. Style. and Quintilian.RHETORIC rhetoric In popular use a word associated with pompous language devoid of real content. that “rhetoric” was the fancy clothing disguising the honest. The other position. (See COMPOSITION STUDIES. St. The other significant figure of the era was Peter Ramus. With the invention of the printing press in the Renaissance. rhetoric also has been synonymous with the study of classical figures of speech. in which context it refers to using language to inform or persuade an audience. Augustine adopted rhetorical theory to emphasize its instructional as well as its persuasive function. Memory. Recently a much broader conception of the term has come into use. 365 . the “rhetoric of the sermon. it is used as an alternative term for courses in speech or composition. In the fourth century. spurred by theories of language that emphasize the transactional nature of communication or the views of language associated with POSTSTRUCTURALISM. the appeal to emotion (pathos). in contemporary THEORY. except for POETRY. Aristotle laid the foundation of rhetorical study. The postmodern position. above logic. operated on the assumption that. first articulated by the 19th-century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The principles of rhetoric were developed in classical Greece and Rome and enshrined in the educational curriculum of the MIDDLE AGES as one of the subjects of the TRIVIUM/QUADRIVIUM. Among other great classical rhetoricians were Cicero. traditional since the 18th century. thus reducing the significance of rhetorical study. literal language was superior to figurative language. The subject of rhetoric was divided into five parts: Invention. such as METAPHOR. METONYMY. who broadened the scope of rhetorical study to embrace a wide range of knowledge. and Delivery. The category “memory” should remind us that the term applied largely to the art of oratory. is that all language is fundamentally rhetorical. The Ramist doctrine helped contribute to the decline of rhetoric’s prestige in favor of scientific (allegedly a-rhetorical) discourse. and the subsequent development of wide-scale literacy. bare-bones reality revealed by logic. and the ethical appeal. As a consequence of this view. rhetorical principles were applied to writing. exemplified in the character of the orator (ethos). Arrangement. a French scholar who argued that the categories of Invention and Arrangement should be taught as subdivisions of Logic. “rhetoric” has been elevated to a privileged place.) Traditionally. who insisted that the rhetorician must be a person of strong moral character. as in the phrase “mere rhetoric.” In the RENAISSANCE the most influential figure in rhetoric was Erasmus. His Rhetoric established the three essential categories of proof: the appeal to reason (logos). whose textbooks dominated rhetorical education for two hundred years.

but also in contemporary criticism. television ADVERTISING. who took literary criticism out of its traditionally narrow confines into the wider context of human DISCOURSE. in which the interaction of writer. Its earliest notable contribution is a document that has come to be known as Longinus On the Sublime (third century A. reader. the study of rhetoric had declined into a concentration on figures of speech. such as ADVERTISING and political speeches. The other sense of the term focuses on overtly persuasive texts. But by the 19th century. and context create highly complex communications whose meaning is neither fixed nor limited. Burke’s method incorporates his theory of DRAMATISM and the process of identification with one’s audience. in a subtler form. In the 20th century. brief account of the history of rhetoric is included in Edward Corbett’s Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student (second edition. An admirable. the field was revived by two important major redefinitions. and the analysis of examples of “pure” rhetoric.). a rhetorical analysis of the emotional response to literature.D. 1971). The rhetorical criticism of literature represents an ancient tradition. the “management” of news reporting and the creation of images. such as the wartime oratory of Winston Churchill. George Kennedy’s Classical Rhetoric and Its Christian and Secular Tradition from Ancient to Modern Times (1980) is a valuable history. rhetorical criticism A term with two meanings: the application of the study of RHETORIC to literature. 2. The Rhetoric of Literature helped to spark the reader response movement (see READER RESPONSE CRITICISM) and other theories of language as a form of action. Other recent examples of rhetorical criticism include Wayne Booth’s pioneering study The Rhetoric of Literature (1961). an analysis of certain novels in terms of their intended effect upon their readers. the Scotsmen George Campbell and Hugh Blair. Common to both forms of rhetorical criticism is an emphasis on the way in which language can shape human behavior. Kenneth Burke’s Rhetoric of Motives (1950) and Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca’s The New Rhetoric (1969).RHETORICAL CRITICISM The 18th century produced two notable rhetoricians. 1. Along with Louise Rosenblatt’s pioneering Literature as Exploration (1938). 366 . The postmodern adaptation of rhetoric has been spurred by the example of Burke. The idea of the SUBLIME has played a major role not only in the critical theory underlying ROMANTICISM. The New Rhetoric explores the interaction of audience and arrangement in the fashioning of an argument. Campbell’s Philosophy of Rhetoric (1776) and Blair’s Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres (1783) attempted to stem the anti-rhetorical tide ushered in with the triumph of science. and. TEXT.

penultimate. and ordinary speech.” “How shall we know the dancer from the dance?” rhyme The duplication of sounds. rhymes in which the vowels are the same but pronounced differently (love-prove). repetitions. rhyme royal A seven-line stanza rhyming a-b-a-b-b-c-c in iambic pentameter (see METER). Literary examples include Christopher Marlowe’s “Was this the face that launched a thousand ships / And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?”—a reference to Helen of Troy—and William Butler Yeats’s conclusion to “Among School Children. But in addition to the regular repetition of meter. along with his use of subordinate clauses. it is said to be a masculine rhyme. usually at the end of a line of verse. When the rhyme falls on the last syllable (include-intrude). contains rhetorical analyses on figures from John Donne to Wallace Stevens. ritual A ceremony. rhythm The pattern of sounds and pauses that are a feature of POETRY. rhyme may include assonance. and cadences. PROSE. parallel structures. The basic unit of rhythm in English poetry is the FOOT. the rhyming of vowel sounds (blame-mate). The rhythms of William Faulkner’s prose. might be measured in terms of the alternating lengths of his sentences. for example. Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde (1370) is in rhyme royal. SPRUNG RHYTHM. as in labor-neighbor or Jill-hill. syllable (babymaybe) is a feminine rhyme. Kenneth Burke’s A Rhetoric of Motives (1950) contains many examples of his unique critical approach. a rhyme falling on the next-to-last. rhetorical question A question asked for rhetorical effect rather than as a request for an answer. the repeated pattern of which constitutes the METER of a poem. or consonance. both TRAGEDY and COMEDY. 367 . a rhetorical question is a statement in the form of a question. It has long been recognized that DRAMA.RITUAL Rhetorical Analysis of Literary Works. either religious or cultural. rhythm embraces nonmetrical forms such as FREE VERSE and PROSE. a technique developed by the Victorian poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. The most common form of rhyme occurs when the last accented vowel is repeated with a different preceding sound. In the broad sense of the term. enacting in specifically pre- scribed forms behavior designed to benefit the society within which it is practiced. emphasizes the number of accents in a poetic line while ignoring the number of unaccented syllables. is rooted in ancient rituals. In effect. edited by Edward Corbett (1969).

as in the novels of Jacqueline Susann. In Northrop Frye’s words. In more recent years the form has been a regular feature in popular fiction. romance has been a staple of popular literature from the time of the Greek romances (second and third centuries A. Does a given myth arise as a way of explaining an existing ritual. and Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962). the term refers to an elegant. Examples include John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (1939). “the romance is nearest of all literary forms to the wish-fulfillment dream. and/or the celebration of simple rustic life. . a protest against the inhumanity of Soviet concentration camps. an era that celebrated free thought.) to contemporary Harlequin novels. a highly decorative style originating in early 18th-century France as a development of the BAROQUE style. 368 .” As a result. or does the ritual enact a NARRATIVE that already exists? A compelling thesis in favor of the priority of ritual is René Girard’s argument that ritual sacrifice of the SCAPEGOAT is rooted in the effort to control mutual violence within the sacrificing community itself.D. witty. Helmut Hatzfield’s The Rococo (1972) is a comprehensive treatment of the subject. René Girard’s position is detailed in his Violence and the Sacred (1997). As applied to literature. Often associated with satire. rococo In architecture. roman à thèse (thesis novel) A French term for a novel that advocates a specific position on a social or moral question. the roman à clef is a frequent feature of satirical novels such as Evelyn Waugh’s The Loved One (1948). roman à clef (novel with a key) A French term for a novel in which actual. love stories. a merciless look at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles. . romance A type of NARRATIVE featuring adventures in exotic places. and Mary McCarthy’s The Oasis (1949). a satiric view of the NEW YORK INTELLECTUALS. sometimes well-known people or institutions are presented with fictional names. . Voltaire’s Candide (1759). See also CAMBRIDGE RITUALISTS. Among works that qualify as rococo are Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock (1712–14).ROCOCO The relationship of ritual to MYTH usually turns on the question of origins. It is frequently used interchangeably with the term protest novel. an indictment of the treatment of migrant laborers in the 1930s. and Tobias Smollett’s Humphrey Clinker (1771). graceful prose and verse style that framed certain ideas associated with the ENLIGHTENMENT.

All of these plays employ improbable events. and an episodic structure central to the romance form. The novel became associated with REALISM. In the preface. the sacred river. and The Tempest (1613).) Romance is associated with the two greatest names of Renaissance literature. In The Wizard of Oz. Lord Tennyson’s Idylls of the King (1859).” 369 .” These words call attention to a distinction that was to remain in force throughout the century. for example. strange coincidences. romance appears in yet another form in works such as Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The House of the Seven Gables: A Romance (1851). industrial. a period in which the values of romance never seemed more threatened. The Winter’s Tale (1610). the romance with a world suggestive of a reality within or beyond the “real world. ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea. its focus usually falls on one major action. All of these works invoke a past implicitly contrasted to urban. 1615). . and William Morris’s Earthly Paradise (1868–70). Pericles (1607). the many adventures of Dorothy and her friends are subordinate to Dorothy’s overarching desire to return to her home in Kansas. Other outstanding examples of verse romances include John Keats’s “The Eve of St. In Don Quixote (1605. which he would not have felt himself entitled to assume had he professed to be writing a novel. “When a writer calls his work a Romance. it need hardly be observed that he wishes to proclaim a certain latitude. Shakespeare’s contribution lies in his later plays. 19th-century England.ROMANCE Although a typical romance may involve any number of minor adventures. The Don’s commitment to the world of romance is the subject of ridicule and satire. Hawthorne declares. Shakespeare and Cervantes. Cervantes moves the traditional romance into a new dimension by suggesting a connection between the ideals of romance and the brute facts of reality. Cymbeline (1609). Agnes” (1820). Alfred. In 19th-century fiction. which celebrates the ideal of chivalry. . An early prominent model is the medieval romance. as represented in the legends surrounding Arthur of Britain and Charlemagne of France. but at the same time it is an endorsement of the romantic world as an imaginative ideal. ROMANTICISM revived the romance in verse form. (See MEDIEVAL DRAMA. The exotic world that is the genre’s traditional setting is rendered with rich sensuality in the opening passage of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” (1816): In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure dome decree: Where Alph.

The distinction between a romantic comedy and the modern sense of ROMANCE is apparent in a comparison of Leo McCrary’s A Love Affair (1939). but also a fundamental. looking critically. a film that pays extensive homage to An Affair to Remember. the appearance of the STURM UND DRANG movement in Germany. Although scholars have debated the usefulness of a term that is frequently seen as self-contradictory. Romanticism and Romantic continue to be essential words in the vocabulary of literary history. They designate not only a historical period. in the play. Thus the term can be used to describe contemporary writers as well as those associated with the Romantic movement. for instance. Among the first manifestations of the new impulse were the philosophical and personal writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau in France. in the original productions of which.ROMANTIC COMEDY The 20th century saw a marked tendency to identify romance with stories in which love forms the central action. artistic. Romanticism A broad literary. particularly in its emphasis on liberty and equality. Romantic comedy was reborn in the films of the 1930s and ’40s. Gillian Beer’s The Romance (1970) surveys the history of the form. Janice Radway’s Reading the Romance: Women. The Romantic movement developed as a reaction against the narrow rationalism of the early and mid-18th century. Early examples of this form include Shakespeare’s As You Like It and Twelfth Night. while Nora Ephron’s Sleepless in Seattle (1993). at the genre’s traditionally prescribed endings: either marriage or death. A central tenet of Romanticism was the belief in nature as a source of poetic inspiration. Both of these films are unequivocally modern romances. and popular songs of Western culture. which the director remade as An Affair to Remember (1957). romance becomes a capacious category embracing the majority of FICTION. Patriarchy and Popular Culture (1984) offers a telling critique of popular romance fiction. and intellectual movement that devel- oped in Western Europe and America in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. romantic comedy In DRAMA and FILM. Defined this way. Recent FEMINIST CRITICISM has examined some of the tacit assumptions of the form. The interaction of the poet’s creative imagination and the underlying 370 . An important historical progenitor of the movement was the French Revolution. FILMs. boy actors played the women who. recurring attitude toward literature and life. is clearly a romantic comedy. disguised themselves as boys. a popular form of light entertainment that focuses on a love affair. in which the emotional and intellectual freedom of the individual is elevated over the traditional norms and strictures of society. and the developments of the cult of SENSIBILITY and the GOTHIC NOVEL in England.

Laurence Olivier served as its first artistic director. NEW CRITICISM. and in the New England–based movement known as TRANSCENDENTALISM. the National Theatre came into existence in 1962 (the “royal” charter was granted in 1988). Romanticism is reflected in the work of Aleksandr Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov. edited by Robert Gleckner and Gerald Enscoe. first at the Aldwych and later at the Barbican. The first stirrings of Romanticism occurred in Germany in the doctrines of the philosopher Immanuel Kant and in the poems and plays and stories of Goethe and Friedrich von Schiller. Romanticism and Contemporary Criticism (1986). on the other hand. the Stratford Theatre was renamed the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY spirit of nature produced an intense. and in the 20th century by the doctrines of NEW HUMANISM and. edited by Morris Eaves and Michael Fischer. 371 . explores the relation of Romanticism to modern literary theory. under the direction of Peter Hall. appearing at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratfordon-Avon. subjective experience. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Romanticism: Points of View (1970). The theatre is subsidized by the government. Despite the early influence of Madame de Stael. communicated to readers in fresh. but the company also acquired a permanent London home. the prototype of the natural genius was Shakespeare. the Romantics have assumed a central role in illustrating critical positions. In contemporary THEORY. Percy Bysshe Shelly. prototypes of the WESTERN. and with the novels of Sir Walter Scott. English Romanticism is identified principally with the POETRY of William Blake. Royal National Theatre Company Formed from the nucleus of the OLD VIC company. offers a collection of important essays on conflicting definitions of the term. In the spring of 1961. spontaneous language. such as DECONSTRUCTION. emerging in the 1820s and ’30s in the poetry of Lamartine and the novels of Victor Hugo. Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) The principal contemporary acting company focusing on the plays of Shakespeare. Lord Byron. In Russia. William Wordsworth. a situation that allows for more experimentation and less pressure to produce commercially successful productions. American Romanticism first emerged in James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking novels. the child of nature. John Keats. Thus the Romantics enshrined the natural genius. to some extent. The company received its royal charter in 1925. whose creative understanding of the world-as-symbol provided readers the opportunity to explore their own “inner worlds. French Romanticism was slow to develop. In the latter half of the 19th century Romanticism was opposed by REALISM.” For the Romantics.

372 . They approached their analyses with scientific rigor. the use of language that calls attention to itself. the disruption of a reader’s usual expectations. 1981) is the standard history of the movement. Russian formalism A school of criticism that flourished in Russia from about 1915 to 1932. Victor Erlich’s Russian Formalism (third edition. a prominent analyst of folk literature. freed from what they regarded as the emotional excesses of symbolism and FUTURISM. the company has expanded its repertoire to include other works. The movement came to an end in 1932 when SOCIALIST REALISM was installed as the official critical doctrine in the Soviet Union. Two critical terms introduced by the Formalists are still employed today: DEFAMILIARIZATION. The Formalists concentrated on determining the distinction between language as it is used in literature and the ordinary use of language. Among their practitioners were the distinguished linguist Roman Jakobson and Vladimir Propp. and FOREGROUNDING. resulting in such notable productions as Marat/Sade (1966) and Nicholas Nickleby (1982).RUSSIAN FORMALISM Although its chief focus is Shakespeare.

Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral (1935). saint play A type of medieval drama that focused on the life or martyrdom of a saint. and John Updike’s In the Beauty of the Lilies (1996). The earliest salons were held in 17th-century Paris. a term for a place. 373 . at which time certain literary features of that period were incorporated into the stories. Thus the term has been used to describe John Galsworthy’s The Forsyte Saga (1922). a common form of the saint play was the Saint George play. In France. the legendary patron saint of England. The Saint Play in Medieval Europe (1986). which were transcribed in the 13th century. which depicted the defeat of the dragon and the subsequent martyrdom of George. edited by Clifford Davidson. France. salon In literature. Elaborate and intricate stories. a number of plays celebrated the life of Saint Nicholas. and Italy from the 13th to the 16th centuries. This sense of the term was continued in modern literature.ååå så saga In its original sense. S. A celebrated example of a modern saint play is T. a verse rendering of the assassination of Saint Thomas à Becket. usually the home of a well-to-do person. In England. One type of saga involved the action of legendary figures and their families and were known as family sagas. a medieval Scandinavian or Icelandic NARRATIVE poem depicting the adventures of legendary figures. Saint plays were popular in England. where writers and artists met regularly for informal discussions. and in Italy the lives of Saint Anthony and Saint Dominic were frequently enacted. Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude (1970). provides a wideranging account of the genre. where it has come to mean a long narrative dealing with the fortunes of a family over a number of generations. the sagas were derived from earlier oral accounts.

among the greatest of the century. Kenneth Rexroth. publishing many of his works under his religious name. San Francisco renaissance A period in the early 1950s when San Francisco became the center of experimental POETRY associated with the BEAT poets and PROJECTIVISM. as we know. Kenneth Patchen. censorship was a powerful and pervasive repressive force.C. Their work coalesced when Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Brother Antoninus. The aim is to be entertaining as well as censorious. to create fun by poking fun. Revolting against these restrictions.). five syllables.. ed. In 1956. As such it is an attack. a poet who was also a Dominican lay brother. which served as a samizdat text before being published in Italy in an Italian translation in 1957. began distributing carbon copies of their manuscripts that were passed along from one sympathetic reader to another. denied access to regular publishing. an original member of the Beats. and William Everson.” Under the government of the Soviet Union. Sapphics Verse stanzas of four lines.” Edward Brown’s Russian Literature Since the Revolution (rev. Ginsberg won the trial that ensued in more ways than one—the publicity helped to make Howl a best seller. The pattern is named after the Greek woman poet Sappho (seventh century B. City Lights published Allen Ginsberg’s Howl. or an individual. As the scholar Edward Brown summarizes it. Thus satire is a negotiation between 374 . but an attack ameliorated by the element of play. stupid. and Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize. declaring it obscene. an institution. it is rarely used in English. 1982) is a masterly treatment of its subject. of which the first three have 11 syllables and the fourth. Among the poets living in San Francisco during this period were Robert Duncan. Other major works that appeared in samizdat include Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago (1973) and the POETRY of Osip Mandelstam and Joseph Brodsky. moved to San Francisco and opened the City Lights Bookshop in 1953. The popularity of Howl soared when local authorities seized copies of the poem. A common form in classical poetry. some Soviet writers. All of these works were published abroad and smuggled back into the Soviet Union. Satire uses laughter as a weapon against any target that the satirist considers silly. satire A type of literature that aims to ridicule folly or vice in a society. or vicious. The following year an English translation was published in England. a word that carries the meaning of “self as publisher.SAMIZDAT samizdat In Russian. The best-known example is Boris Pasternak’s novel Doctor Zhivago. “Books that moved in this weird manner were.

that for 25 years lacerated the follies of Viennese society. best known for his fable Animal Farm (1945) and the novel 1984 (1949). many of the most notable satirists have been journalists. and so on. harsh. sophisticated. tolerant form. and pointed ears. Horace for the genial. In England the golden age of the form was the neoclassical period. Die Fackel (The Torch). but is not limited to. Mencken. but there are also outstanding examples of works that are pure satires. poems.” Mencken’s term for middle-class Americans. two satires aimed at totalitarian governments. In the 20th century. establishing a tradition kept alive in the Romantic period in the POETRY of Lord Byron (Don Juan). A scansion of the opening lines of Alexander Pope’s “Essay on Criticism. the editor of The American Mercury. satyr play In the classical Greek dramatic festival of Dionysus. Alexander Pope (The Dunciad). indicated by a double vertical line (||) and to its rhyme scheme. The only complete satyr play that has survived is Euripides’ Cyclops (438 B. b. c. who published and was the sole contributor to a journal. its literary manifestations. Their performance usually represented a BURLESQUE of a popular myth. The most common form of scansion divides a metrical FOOT into stressed and unstressed syllables. Satyrs were pleasure-seeking hedonists dressed in goatskins. masks. Spirit and Art (1991) looks at satire from a broad perspective that includes. and novels that are not themselves satires. whose principal target was the “booboisie. biting satire. Satire: A Critical Anthology ed. George Test’s Satire.” written in HEROIC COUPLETS: 375 . John Rusell and Ashley Brown (1967) offers a representative selection.SCANSION the judgmental and the joyous. the comic afterpiece that followed the tragic trilogy and implicitly mocked the high seriousness of the preceding plays. Outstanding among them have been the Austrian writer Karl Kraus. His American equivalent was H. indicated by small letters a. These two poles are represented in classical Latin literature by Juvenal and Horace. L.). when John Dryden (MacFlecknoe). tails. Satiric passages enhance and enliven many plays. scansion A method of describing a poem by analyzing the METER and RHYME of its lines. A stress is indicted by a virgule (/) or dash (-) and an unstressed syllable by a breve ( ˘ ) or x. Juvenal stands for slash-and-burn. Their English equivalent was George Orwell.C. and Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels) raised satire to the highest levels. Scansion also attends to a pause or CAESURA within a line. Satan See EVIL.

Aquinas’s position was challenged by the Scottish theologian Duns Scotus.” Scholasticism The theological and philosophical thought of the late MIDDLE AGES. the term refers to the place in which an action occurs. a sacrificial victim whose death redeems the community and. Wilson argues that the artist is the ultimate scapegoat: “The artist who renders himself abhorrent to society. as in “the scene of the crime. A distinguished fictional rendering of the scapegoat ritual is Shirley Jackson’s SHORT STORY “The Lottery” (1944). In literature. but is later cast out. in Hamlet’s words. once the society resumes its ordinary rules and practices. debating such questions as whether reason should be grounded in faith (“I believe in order that I may understand”) or faith grounded in reason (“I understand in order that I may believe”). scene In DRAMA. In literature. An interesting critical treatment is Edmund Wilson’s The Wound and the Bow (1941). . is also the master of a superhuman art which everybody has to respect and the normal man finds he needs.” scenario An outline of the plot of a film or play.” In comedy the scapegoat is related to the figure of Misrule. from the 12th through the 14th centuries. in general. The chief goal of Scholastic thinkers was to reconcile Christian belief and classical philosophical understanding. From this perspective the tragic hero can be seen as a scapegoat figure. who thrives during the period of CARNIVAL. 376 . as distinguished from the TREATMENT. which is a detailed summary.SCAPEGOAT ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ ’Tis hard to say || if greater want of skill ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ ‚ ˘ Appear in writing || or in judging ill. in which the scapegoat figure occupies a central place in both tragedy and comedy. magisterially summarized in Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologica (1265–74). “sets right” the time that is “out of joint. comprehensive synthesis of classical and medieval thought. scapegoat A figure who suffers for the crimes or sins of others. who argued for a greater reliance on faith and less on reason. a subdivision of an ACT or of an entire play. The rediscovery of Aristotle’s works in the Middle Ages led to a rigorous. the term is frequently associated with MYTH CRITICISM. The word tragedy means “goat song” and is thought to refer to an early ritual involving the sacrifice of a goat. .

the Italian novelist and critic Umberto Eco has called Galileo the greatest Italian prose writer because of the unique quality of his scientific-poetic imagination. the gap closed somewhat in the 19th century with the advent of REALISM. literature and science have always interacted. and Joseph Conrad were directly influenced by Darwin. Similarly. modern scientific language had begun to take shape: objective. 377 . The view of the two as oppositional most recently emerged in the TWO CULTURES controversy. transparent. is Lucretius’s De Rerum Natura (“On the Nature of Things”). in which Jim’s decision to save himself from a sinking ship ironically illustrates the “survival of the fittest.” As the critic George Levine has pointed out. the emergence of HUMANISM. the rigid compartmentalizing of thought and feeling. science. lamented by T. who derived a key concept of INSCAPE/INSTRESS from Duns Scotus. and James Joyce. at least in prose. But the early history of the two disciplines reveals a time when literature.” Nevertheless. producing a language that is both elegant and precise. The VICTORIAN novelists George Eliot. which offered a model. whose debt to the aesthetics of Aquinas is recorded in the fifth chapter of A Portrait of the Artist as aYoung Man (1916). science Traditionally regarded as polar opposites. P. In the mid-20th century it experienced a revival as NEO-SCHOLASTICISM. Thomas Hardy. a “recording secretary” in Balzac’s term. detached. while formulating a theory that has won the respect of modern physicists. and the growth of scientific thought led to the eclipse of Scholasticism.C. R. The work is also a poem. Two modern authors influenced by Scholasticism were Gerard Manley Hopkins. in which the novelist C. Leavis engaged in an acrimonious debate over Snow’s charge that most humanists are inexcusably ignorant of the most elementary scientific knowledge. One example is Conrad’s Lord Jim (1899). a six-volume work setting out an atomic theory of matter. By the end of the 17th century. Snow and the critic F. the 17th-century scientific revolution that Galileo helped to usher in created the split between the two cultures. written in dactylic hexameter and containing highly lyrical passages.SCIENCE The coming of the RENAISSANCE. in which the author functioned as a detached observer. S. either absorbing each other’s insights or correcting the other’s imbalances. Eliot as the DISSOCIATION OF SENSIBILITY. An example from the first century B. the opposite of “poetic language. Another example of the growing prestige of science in the literary community is the impact of Darwin’s theories on the literary world. Ironically. even in the novels of avowedly “anti-scientific” novelists such as Charles Dickens and Anthony Trollope there are remarkable correspondences to Darwinian concepts. and philosophy were united.

Wells. is a collection of essays dealing with questions of the relation between science. Beyond the Two Cultures (1990). Another important precursor of the genre was Jules Verne. the genre gained increasing prestige with the contributions of writers such as Aldous Huxley (Brave New World. as it is commonly known. is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818). derived from scientific discoveries. 1932) and C. The War of the Worlds (1898). 1938).SCIENCE FICTION Similarly. and literature. 1973). S. scientists have become aware that their ideal of an objective. the first magazine devoted to science fiction. taking on a God-like power that leads to disaster. extraterrestrial visitors to earth.” The term science fiction was popularized in America by Hugo Gernsback. This motif has always played a prominent role in science fiction. altered states of consciousness. in the 20th century. and artificial intelligence. with its depiction of travel through time. in which a man-made monster suggests the possibility of scientific discovery going too far. Lewis (Out of the Silent Planet. edited by Joseph Slade and Judith Lee. science fiction began to sound less like fantasy and more like 378 . George Levine’s Darwin and the Novelists (1988) is an important study of Darwin’s influence on Victorian literature. But the true father of science fiction is H. More recently. a prophecy fulfilled some 60 years later. G. the prototype of alien invasion fiction. a trained scientist and an accomplished realistic novelist. The acknowledged forerunner of sci fi or sf. These and many other scenarios have contributed to the international popularity of the genre. closely followed by stories dealing with the aftermaths of nuclear war and environmental disasters. both in its printed form and as dramatized on film and television. and The First Men on the Moon (1901). value-free language is largely illusory. Wells combined these skills in The Time Machine (1895). Chief among these have been interstellar travel. technology. the editor of Amazing Stories. From its humble origins as a form of PULP FICTION in the 1920s. From the other side. particularly the novelist Thomas Pynchon (Gravity’s Rainbow. Following World War II and the development of nuclear weapons (see NUCLEAR WAR). See also CONSCIOUSNESS and SCIENCE FICTION. science fiction A type of fiction based on future possibilities. a number of postmodernist writers. Wells referred to these fictions as “scientific romances. whose Voyage to the Center of the Earth (1864) and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873) introduced the theme of exploration through scientific technology. have employed the terminology and ideas of quantum physics and other sciences as part of the conceptual scheme of their work. Einstein’s theories have had a marked influence on literary representations of TIME.

according to film critic Pauline Kael. often at the hands of another writer. Combining fast action. which were drawn from legends and biblical stories. For example. a fact that contributed to its great popularity. and the other a naive stuffed shirt with little experience of real life.SCREWBALL COMEDY realism. 20 different people participated in the writing of scripts that eventually became the successful comedy Tootsie (1982). (See also ZINES. 1953). Among these were Arthur Clarke (Childhood’s End. often the product of the collaboration of director and writer. 1969). Frequently the number of people with a hand. which introduces cyberspace into the world of science fiction. adapted from the enormously successful. Also notable is the Star Trek film series (1979– ). 1953). in a script can be quite large. Recent innovations in the genre include Octavia Butler’s Kindred (1979). Cary Grant. with its stunning. The Russian and American space programs. William Wellman’s Nothing Sacred (1937). and James Stewart. Usually preceded by a SCENARIO and/or TREATMENT. and William Gibson’s Necromancer (1984). Irene Dunne.) Brain Aldiss’s BillionYear Spree (1973) is a lively history of the genre. Even here. Ursula K. and many of the features of classical farce. screwball comedy A type of Hollywood comedy of the 1930s and ’40s that featured two lovers. before it emerges as the shooting script. and Stephen Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). ethereal concluding segment. Robert Heinlein (Starship Troopers. scop A term in Anglo-Saxon literature for a minstrel who was attached to the royal court. Frank Herbert (Dune. in which a 20th-century American black woman time travels back to the 1830s where she lives as a free black in a slave state. only intensified the appeal. Jean Arthur. 1965). ongoing television series. and Howard Hawks’s 379 . Katharine Hepburn. The scop composed and performed his own works. a villainous computer. Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness. Some of the best examples of the genre include Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night (1934). smart dialogue. these comedies were ideally suited to the talents of such performers as Carole Lombard. screenplay The script that forms the basis of a film. which balances technical effects with a human drama. and Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse Five. Outstanding achievements in FILM include Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 (1968). the screenplay generally undergoes a number of major revisions. featuring HAL. 1969). 1959). Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451. or at least a finger. George Lucas’s Star Wars (1977). along with the appearance of a number of gifted and skillful writers. one of whom is a madcap zany (usually the woman). many changes will be introduced into the script.

In the 1970s. in various ways. Leavis. In its modern form. autonomous “self.” Other is now frequently used to describe traditional attitudes towards minorities. or even the divided self later conceived in EXISTENTIALISM. The new sense of self no longer suggests the unified.” For the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. self/other Two terms that have taken on unusual connotations in contempo- rary THEORY. the feminist response to this position stresses the positive sides of “otherness. but as an event that occurs within a specific linguistic context. In the 1930s and ’40s. See PSYCHOANALYTICAL CRITICISM. Semantics is a major area of LINGUISTICS. Doc? (1972). The title of the journal reflects its emphasis on “close reading. autonomous individual of traditional HUMANISM. such as gays or lesbians. an approach known as “general semantics” attempted to offer solutions to existing social and intellectual problems by demonstrating that they were linguistic in nature. scriptures The sacred writings of any religion.” Thus. and it numbered among its contributors T. culturally-driven modes of thinking. In FEMINIST CRITICISM. the sense of otherness is part of the universal human condition in which the self is experienced as fragmented and lacking a true center. colonized peoples. perceives itself as not a being identical with the self. Its editor was the powerful critic F. either inferior or threatening.” a “subject” of “the name of the father.” the phase in which it begins to acquire language. Scrutiny An influential literary journal published in England from 1932 to 1953. independent entity. Alfred Korzybski argued that flawed linguistic systems resulted in misperceptions and misunder- 380 . Peter Bogdanovich revived the form in his What’s Up. semantics deals with meaning not as some abstract.SCRIPTURES Bringing Up Baby (1938). the child in its “symbolic stage. the term summarizes the process by which male literature depicts women as. according to Lacan. or marginalized groups. but as “other. In Science and Society (1939). First articulated by Simone de Beauvoir in The Second Sex (1949) and later developed by French feminists in the notion of écriture féminine (“feminine writing”). Eliot.” a central tenet of NEW CRITICISM. semantics The study of meaning in language. most commonly used in reference to the BIBLE. R. Among the illusions entertained by the “subject” is that he or she possesses an inner. In contemporary theory. self has given way to the term SUBJECT to suggest a being “constructed” by our language-determined. S.

creating sentences of irregular lengths and variations. later revised as Language in Thought and Action (1949). semiology is the coinage of the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure. The Senecan style was comparatively plain and epigrammatic. linguistic signs. and the other deriving from Peirce. although it acknowledges the presence of nonverbal signification in literature. designed to penetrate the mystique of these two forms by locating and analyzing the code systems that govern them. semiotics/semiology The study of SIGNS. one originating with Saussure and culminating in STRUCTURALISM and POSTSTRUCTURALISM. Both terms are employed interchangeably. well-reasoned introduction to the field. The new style better suited the emerging form of the ESSAY. but also at their impact on their audience and their implications within a given society. Semiotics Cinema (1984). for example. but also any object or form of activity that may indicate something else. The latter group looks not simply at the structure of signs. Robert Scholes’s Semiotics and Interpretation (1982) offers a clear. Thus the Eiffel Tower. as in this example from Francis Bacon’s essay “Of Death”: 381 . the feminist critic Tessa de Lauretis frames each character in a film as coded along the lines of sexual difference. In film. Marvin Carlson’s study is Theatre Semiotics: Signs of Life (1990). creating discord and conflict. “signs” are not only words. The American philosopher Charles Peirce coined the term semiotics in 1867. There are two traditions of literary semiotics. ornate CICERONIAN STYLE that had dominated formal English prose in the 16th century. Named for the Roman philosopher and dramatist Seneca.SENECAN STYLE standings among people. Hayakawa in Language in Action (1941). and the female. analyzes the role of the audience in absorbing the semiotic clues within the play and within the theater itself. Senecan style A term for the style of English prose developed in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. wearing jeans. the style was a reaction against the highly formal. In semiotics. This so-called pragmatic approach explores the relation of signs to social and political forces and their importance in fields such as advertising and POPULAR CULTURE. The critic Marvin Carlson. where the male represents the human. a television commercial. forms of nature. Korzybski’s ideas were popularized by S. but semiotics is the preferred usage in the United States. or the McDonald’s arch are all signs that communicate messages according to a conventional CODE. Semiotics has produced a number of studies of theater and FILM. Korzybski called for a “scientific” approach to language and thought. Literary semiotics focuses on verbal signs. I. shaking hands. Tessa de Lauretis’s analysis is Alice Doesn’t: Feminism.

S. Eliot’s poem “The Love Song of J. and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales. Sensibility acquired a kind of cult status during this period. The adoption of the Senecan. (See RESTORATION. In Hamlet.SENSIBILITY Men fear death. but the fear of it. but a bit obtuse.” In the 20th century the term has been used to denote an intellectual and emotional perceptiveness. so is the other. as a tribute due unto nature. similar to a PROVERB. Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (1811) offers a satiric portrait of extreme “sensibility. sometimes known as the “Attic. a term used to describe sensitivity to the sorrows of others. Polonius’s advice to his son.” sentimental comedy A type of 18th-century English comedy emphasizing the virtues.) George Williamson’s The Senecan Amble (1951. in the latter half of the 17th century. Alfred Prufrock” (1917) contains an allusion to Polonius as “full of high sentence. as children fear to go in the dark.” T. sensibility In early 18th-century England. The parallel term SENTIMENTALITY is usually seen as a debased form of sensibility. . Certainly the contemplation of death. rather than the foibles. as sentimental comedy was 382 . S. Conceived in reaction to the cynical and amoral tone of RESTORATION COMEDY. is weak. the sense employed by T.” style marked a major step toward the development. contains a number of sententiae: “The apparel oft proclaims the man. to thine own self be true. Eliot when he described the DISSOCIATION OF SENSIBILITY. sententia A Latin term referring to a short statement expressing a commonly held truth. . Laertes. sensibility referred to the importance of emotion and the ideal of the “inspired” poet who transcended the rules of NEOCLASSICISM. 1966) provides an excellent scholarly treatment of the style. as the wages of sin and passage to another world. is holy and religious.” and “Neither a borrower or lender be . of its major characters and celebrating the triumph of good over evil.” The effects of the movement in literature are evident in SENTIMENTAL COMEDY and the SENTIMENTAL NOVEL. the comedy of SENSIBILITY. prominent enough to lead to the suggestion that the last half of the 18th century in England can be characterized as “The Age of Sensibility. In the literature of the last half of the century. of modern English prose. Janet Todd’s Sensibility (1986) provides a concise introduction to the term.

A Shakespearean example includes Henry IV. The aim of the sentimental novel. Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s La Nouvelle Héloïse (1761) initiated a new literary mode. this excessive emotionalism was tempered with irony and humor. as described by the critic Janet Todd. was “the arousal of pathos through conventional situations. the sequel has been popular since the 1970s when the success of films such as The Godfather (1972). In France. In films. This negative judgment is the usual fate of sequels. Part Two. serial In film. (See COMÉDIE LARMOYANTE. Flash Gordon. stock familiar characters. FILM. sequel A PLAY. weekly chapters that flourished in movie theaters from the 1920s to the 1950s. Among the most famous of the serials were The Perils of Pauline. or NARRATIVE which. Filled with incredible adventures and demonic villains. but rich in “warmth. which is generally regarded as a less powerful and original work than Part One. each chapter ended in a cliffhanger in which the hero. is designed to follow a previous work. and the Lone Ranger. 383 . heroine. as in Oliver Goldsmith’s The Vicar of Wakefield (1766) and Laurence Sterne’s A Sentimental Journey (1768).” The history of literature reveals the radical relativity of the term: one generation’s estimate of honest realism is frequently another generation’s sentimentality. It also refers to the easy manipulation of the reader’s or audience’s emotions by formulaic novels or films characterized as “tear jerkers. the first and most popular of serial heroines. Jaws (1975).) sentimental novel A type of novel popular in late 18th-century Europe. or both were tied up. starring Pearl White. The succeeding chapter always began with their miraculous escape. complete in itself. Janet Todd’s Sensibility (1986) examines the popularity of the form. Other serial heroes of note included Dick Tracy. and Rocky (1976) spawned multiple sequels. and rhetorical devices. See SUFFERING/SYMPATHY. was notably short on laughs. The “novel of sensibility.” as it was known.SERIAL known.” In this respect it was a precursor of 19th-century MELODRAMA and of the television SITCOM of the 1950s. In Germany. an excessive display of the emotion of pity or sympathy. about to be done in by some fiendish device. sentimentality In literature. a term for the brief. Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) took the nation by storm.” In the hands of more accomplished writers. had a powerful impact on European literature.

in which the sestet offers a response to the proposition in the first eight lines.” delivered in 1630 on the occasion of John Winthrop’s departure from England to establish the Massachusetts Bay Colony. an addition to a poem addressed to a person or an abstraction.” preached before King Charles I shortly before Donne’s death in 1631. but always in a different order. concluding with an envoy to God: Gawd. and John Cotton’s “God’s Promise to His Plantation. H. Considered to be the invention of the TROUBADOUR poet Arnaut Daniel.“’E liked it all. and sloth. sermon A form of religious discourse not normally regarded as literature. sestina An unrhymed 39-line poem consisting of six stanzas of six lines each and a final three-line ENVOY. The earliest reference to the sins as a group is in the quasi-biblical “Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs” (109–106 B. The most important Christian source is St. ENVY. In modern times. although many sermons have been celebrated for their artistic as well as religious values. including Ezra Pound (“Sestina: Altaforte”) and W. bless this world!Whatever she hath done— Except where awful long—I’ve found it good. seven deadly sins Pride.C. The term is also used to describe the final six lines of a Petrarchan SONNET. The French term for setting is mise en scène. anger. Notable sermons in literature include Father Mapple’s preaching in MobyDick (1850) and Father Arnall’s vision of eternity in James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916). covetousness. So write. by extension. the sestina was used throughout the MIDDLE AGES. before I die. Auden (“Paysage Moralisé”). gluttony. Adding to the complexity of the form is the requirement that each stanza use the same end words. the social and political context of the action. 384 . and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).). Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984).SERMON Steven Spielberg paid elaborate homage to the form in his highly successful films Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). lust. Rudyard Kipling’s “Sestina of the TrampRoyal” (1896) is a sestina in which an itinerant laborer expresses his philosophy of life. Among these are John Donne’s “Death’s Duel. the form has been employed by a number of poets.” setting The time and place of a NARRATIVE and DRAMA and. sestet A poem or stanza of six lines.

since it was considered the source of all the others. Abstinence. In its Indonesian form. while manipulating as many as 40 or 50 different puppets in the course of an evening’s performance. shadow theater A form of entertainment in which shadows are projected onto a screen by puppets placed behind the screen. Charity. China. During those years. and Industry. one with a particular interest in Southern American literature. Chastity. the journal has continued to maintain its reputation as a distinguished literary quarterly. William Langland’s Piers Plowman (1362–94). notably in Dante’s Divine Comedy. or Indonesia. which prescribed the order of the sins. Morton Bloomfield’s The Seven Deadly Sins (1952) is the definitive scholarly study of the subject. The list was popularized through sermons and penitence manuals. Generosity. pride was first. an early 15th century MORALITY PLAY. listing the entrances and exits of the actors. It is not certain whether shadow theater originated in India. the Review has been noted for the quality of the essays. the name of one of the two principal characters. but the “plot” of which has been recovered. In The Castle of Perseverance. later to be known as The King’s Men (see CHAMBERLAIN’S/KING’S MEN). Since the early 1940s. This play’s plot is important in that it supplies the names of the leading actors of a troupe that was to become Shakespeare’s company—the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. As adapted in Turkey. criticism. the Deadly Sins are pitted against the Seven Cardinal Virtues: Meekness. See SOUTHERN RENAISSANCE. Among these 385 . and Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus (1588–92). Patience. shadow theater frequently comments on or satirizes features of contemporary life.). where it is known as Karegoz (“Black Eye”). The sins were often personified in medieval and RENAISSANCE literature. Allen Tate and Cleanth Brooks. The Seven Deadly Sins is the title of an ELIZABETHAN play now lost.SHAKESPEAREAN APOCRYPHA Gregory the Great’s Moralia (sixth century A. but long after the demise of that school. books designed to guide the faithful in examining their conscience. the plays are performed by a single puppeteer who speaks all the parts and sings all the songs. and fiction. Sewanee Review Periodical published since 1892 by the University of the South in Sewanee.D. Tennessee. Shakespearean apocrypha Plays attributed to Shakespeare at various times but not now generally accepted as having been written by him. it was closely identified with the NEW CRITICISM particularly the Southern writers Robert Penn Warren. In the Elizabethan theater plot referred to an outline of the play.

which combines on facing pages a facsimile of the original with a modernized text and a 386 . Other significant sonnet collections called Sonnet Sequences. This position also applies to persistent speculation that the sonnets reveal a homosexual connection between Shakespeare and the young man. Henry Wriothesly reverses the W. the earl of Surrey. The finest critical work on the sonnets is Stephen Booth’s Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1977). W. W. but of their alleged relevance to Shakespeare’s biography. The sonnets of both poets appeared in a famous anthology Tottel’s Miscellany: Songs and Sonnets (1557). It is not unreasonable to suppose that the poet who could create such complex and varied characters as Iago. The couplet epitomizes the point of the preceding QUATRAINS. whose name. the Shakespearean form retains the 14 line length. Edmund Spenser’s Amoretti (1594). Further complicating the situation is the dedication to the first edition (1609) of the poems “to the onlie begetter of these ensuring sonnets. to whom (along with his brother) the actors in Shakespeare’s company dedicated the FIRST FOLIO in 1623.SHAKESPEARE’S SONNETS are Edward III (1595). None of these possibilities should overshadow the poems’ power as works of art. Here we are speaking not of the formal or aesthetic qualities. a history play which Shakespeare may have revised. the earl of Pembroke. and Edmund Ironside (1585–90). Shakespeare’s sonnets A variation on the Petrarchan sonnet (see SONNET). H” and the young man (assuming them to be the same person) has yielded two candidates. Looming over these and numerous other possibilities is the chance that the sonnets bear no significant relationship to the poet’s life. while altering the original structure to include three questions and one concluding couplet. a play never published in its own day. Mr. and John Donne’s Holy Sonnets (1617). significant as they are.” The attempt to identify “Mr. H. The second candidate is William Herbert. representations of intense personal experiences. at least in any obvious sense. Cleopatra. son of a noble family. but not necessarily related to the author’s biography. and Shylock in the crucible of his imagination could perform similar magic in the lyric mode.” who has become the mistress of both the young man and the poet. while 24 appear to be addressed to a “Dark Lady. urging him to marry. Most of the sonnets seem to be addressed not to some fair Petrachan maiden but to a young man. One is the earl of Southampton. included Philip Sidney’s Astrophel and Stella (1591). if not written entirely. But Shakespeare’s collection of 154 sonnets is unique both in the range and quality of the verse and in the intense biographical speculation they have generated. H. The form was introduced by Sir Thomas Wyatt and developed by Henry Howard.

a verbal sign is made up of two aspects. the two component parts of a linguistic SIGN. As formulated by the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure. Thus the sign table is made up of the sound (signifier) and the idea of a table (signified). Many of the greatest novelists of the past century have written short stories. the SIGNIFIER/SIGNIFIED. verbal or nonverbal. they indicate concepts and. A short story usually contains two or three characters and frequently focuses on a simple incident or a moment of sudden insight. Saussure suggested that not only was the relationship of the sign to the referent an arbitrary one. instead. published in both the general MAGAZINE and the LITTLE MAGAZINE. Equally commendable are Helen Vendler’s illuminating readings in The Art of Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1997). TRACKING SHOT. shot In FILM. Frank O’Connor.” Robert Scholes’s Semiotics and Interpretation (1982) offers a detailed discussion of these ideas. “Concepts are aspects of thought. Saussure’s distinction proved to be a key element in the development of STRUCTURALISM and POSTSTRUCTURALISM. FABLE and FOLKTALE. the modern short story was developed in the 19th century and came into its own in the 20th century. uninterrupted running of the camera. Katherine Mansfield. Any longer work is usually classified as a NOVELLA or short novel. See also ESTABLISHING SHOT. not reality. the length of which varies. not the extralinguistic object called the REFERENT. Note that both the signifier and the signified are linguistic entities. as Robert Scholes phrases it. so too was the relation of the signifier to the signified. Henry. characterized by James Joyce as an EPIPHANY. signifier/signified According to the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure.000 words. but writers who have dedicated themselves exclusively to this form of fiction include O. Although the form contains ancestors that include PARABLE. Jorge Luis Borges. The signifier is the sound or written letters. Raymond Carver. any element. ZOOM SHOT. critical commentary for each poem. that can be taken to represent something. The signifier is the sound of a word 387 . sign In LINGUISTICS. Frank O’Connor’s The Lonely Voice (1964) is a study of the form. short story A fictional NARRATIVE.SIGNIFIER/SIGNIFIED textual. but which rarely exceeds 20. a single. These movements suggested that words do not refer to the real world. while the signified represents the idea or concept. and Alice Munro. Isaak Babel.


or, in writing, the marks on a page. The signified is its concept or meaning. The signifier of the word cat is a one-syllable sound that rhymes with the sound “bat.” The signified are the mental images of a four-legged animal. It is important not to confuse the signified with the object referred to, the REFERENT—in our example, an actual cat. The signified is a concept, a linguistic entity. Saussure argues that just as the relation of the whole sign to its referent is an arbitrary convention, so too is the relation between the signifier (the sound image) and the signified (the concept generated by the sound). As a result of this arbitrary relation, some theorists, notably Jacques Derrida, the leading exponent of DECONSTRUCTION, have maintained that language is a self-referential system with no direct connection to reality.
signifyin(g) In African-American speech, a term describing the use of metaphorical language for a variety of purposes, including parody, persuasion, ridicule, or provocation. Rhetorical features such as “rapping” (see RAP), “testifying” (acknowledging one’s faults), and “playing the dozens” (exchanging insults in rhyme) are subdivisions of signifying. Its folklore roots are traced in stories of the signifying monkey, a trickster figure. The monkey’s equivocal language invariably causes trouble for his friend the lion, who takes the monkey’s language literally. According to Henry Louis Gates, signifyin[g] is the central feature of African-American novels, such as Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) and Ishmael Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo (1972). Henry Louis Gates’s The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Criticism (1988) contains a comprehensive account of the practice. silence A literary theme with a wide range of references. Silence can connote

holiness, beauty, fear, repression, or the inexpressible. The desire for it can be the subject of comic ridicule, as in Ben Jonson’s Epicoene or the Silent Woman (1609), or it can represent the victor’s confidence, as in August Strindberg’s The Stronger (1889). Silence has played a central role in the plays of Samuel Beckett, in which it represents the empty void that is reality. In FEMINIST CRITICISM, the analysis of “silence” has assumed an increasingly important role. In Silences (1978), the American SHORT STORY writer Tillie Olsen pointed to the relative absence of women’s voices in literature—the result of the demanding roles played by most women, and by their exclusion from the CANON of classical works. Olsen’s theme was echoed by Adrienne Rich in On Lie